Lance Armstrong. Photo: Oddne Rasmussenn/Flickr
The International Cycling Union has accepted the findings in the USADA report on Lance Armstrong and agreed to strip the cyclist of all of his victories since August 1, 1998, and ban him for life. "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," UCI president Pat McQuaid said, according to the BBC. "He deserves to be forgotten."
The decision means Armstrong will lose his seven Tour de France titles. Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, announced the event would not declare a winner if Armstrong were stripped of his titles. He said the USADA report was so damning and raised doubts about a system and an era. The USADA report said that 20 out of 21 podium finishes were achieved by cyclists who had been directly tied to likely doping.
Armstrong has not commented on the announcement. This week he attended the Livestrong 15th anniversary celebration. He spoke in front of a crowd of 1,700 and received a standing ovation, but didn't directly address the findings in the USADA report. "I am ... truly humbled by your support," Armstrong said according to USA Today. "It's been an interesting couple of weeks. It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me and my family, my friends and this foundation."
This past week he stepped down as the chairman of his organizaton and every major company except Oakley severed ties with the cyclist. Oakley said it would wait for the UCI decision before making a call on their relationship with Armstrong.