Cycling

Lance Armstrong Officially Stripped of 7 Tour de France Titles by UCI

AUSTIN, TX - OCTOBER 21:  Cyclist Lance Armstrong addresses participants at The LIVESTRONG Challenge Ride at the Palmer Events Center on October 21, 2012 in Austin, Texas. More than 4,000 cyclists participated in the charity ride supporting cancer survivors. Armstrong has recently been accused of leading 'the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen' according to USADA officials.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Timothy RappFeatured ColumnistOctober 22, 2012

The fallout for Lance Armstrong continues, as the International Cycling Union has officially stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles. 

From CNN:

The International Cycling Union has stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles because of the conclusion he used performance-enhancing drugs.

"This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads and has had to begin anew. ... It will do so again with vigor," International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid says.

McQuaid went on to add, "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," and had harsh words for the other cyclists embroiled in this scandal (via BBC Sport):

UCI president Pat McQuaid: “I’m sorry that we couldn’t catch every damn one of them red-handed and throw them out of the sport at the time.”

— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 22, 2012

It's the final blow for Armstrong and essentially erases his official footprint on the cycling world, as the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency had already banned him from the sport and revoked all of his results dating back to 1998.

Armstrong famously won the Tour seven consecutive times from 1999 to 2005, inspiring the world with his achievements on the heels of beating testicular cancer. With Livestrong—a foundation created to aid in the fight against cancer—he helped raise nearly $500 million by selling the famous yellow "Livestrong" bracelets. 

Armstrong recently stepped down as the chairman of the charity amidst the scandal, along with losing most of his major endorsements, and he finally spoke about the recent event at a Livestrong gala on Friday. 

From the Associated Press (via USA Today), he said, "I am ... truly humbled by your support. 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."

He added, "I say, 'I've been better,' but I've also been worse."

It remains to be seen if the UCI will appoint winners of the Tour from 1999 to 2005 or simply leave the titles vacated for those years. But one thing is for certain: Armstrong has officially and painfully been disassociated from the cycling world.

The man once thought to be the sport's greatest champion is now left as its most disgraced figure.

 

Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets have more bite than the Florida Gators.

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