• France edition
 
World cycling body backs Armstrong ban
Lance Armstrong answers questions at a 2009 news conference in Australia (Photo: Paul Coster)

World cycling body backs Armstrong ban

Published: 22 Oct 2012 13:15 GMT+02:00

The International Cycling Union (UCI) said it supported a decision by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to erase the Texan's career and his place in the sport's history.

"We will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and we will recognize the sanction that USADA has imposed," UCI president Pat McQuaid told a news conference.

"The UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France wins. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling."

Earlier this month the US body released a devastating dossier on Armstrong, detailing over 202 pages and with more than 1,000 pages of supporting testimony how he was at the heart of the biggest doping programme in the history of sport.

The revelations, including evidence from 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates, plunged a sport which has been working hard to rid itself of its murky doping past into crisis.

McQuaid succeeded Hein Verbruggen as president of world cycling after Armstrong's seventh and final Tour victory in 2005 and is credited with boosting the body's anti-doping programme, notably with the pioneering blood passport programme.

The Irishman was under pressure to answer how Armstrong and his teams managed to dope for so long without being detected. But he rejected calls to quit.

Armstrong's sporting reputation as the cancer survivor who fought back to win cycling's most gruelling and celebrated race has been shattered since the revelations, leading to sponsors leaving him in droves.

There has also been fears of a wider withdrawal of financial backing for the sport after Dutch sponsor Rabobank said it was ending the sponsorship of its professional cycling team after a 17-year association.

The sponsor described professional cycling as "sick" to its core and unlikely to recover in the foreseeable future.

The strongly-worded comments went to the heart of claims of failings at the UCI and in particular to McQuaid, who has been criticized for failing to see the extent of doping within the sport.

Verbruggen, who stepped down in in 2006 but remains honorary president, ran the UCI during Armstrong's golden era -- a time when USADA's report says Armstrong and team-mates evaded dope tests either by hiding or being tipped off in advance.

The Dutchman has also been accused of protecting Armstrong -- even accepting a donation to cover up a positive dope test.

The cyclist's cancer backstory and Tour triumphs from 1999 to 2005 were seen as key to restoring cycling's tattered image after a string of high-profile doping scandals in the 1990s.

Armstrong's Tour victories are unlikely to be re-awarded, the race's director Christian Prudhomme has said. The void avoids further headaches, given that the majority of riders who finished on the podium have also been implicated in doping.

On the eve of the UCI decision, Armstrong spoke for about 90 seconds to a record 4,300 bikers at the Livestrong Challenge charity benefit, a 100-mile (160-kilometre) race in his hometown of Austin, Texas.

"I've been better, but I've also been worse," Armstrong told the riders.

"Obviously it has been an interesting and difficult couple of weeks."

Since the USADA report, sponsors have fled Armstrong and he was forced to resign as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-fighting charity he founded in 1997 over concerns his tarnished reputation could hurt the cause.

Armstrong, who overcame testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs to achieve cycling stardom, inspired more than $500 million in donations to Livestrong and pushed other cancer survivors to battle the condition.

No criminal charges were filed against Armstrong from an 18-month US federal probe that ended earlier this year and evidence from that case was not given to USADA.

But Armstrong could yet face court cases from former sponsors who accepted his assurances that his legacy was not aided by banned substances.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.ch)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French welfare spending 'not sustainable'
Photo: AFP

French welfare spending 'not sustainable'

As France topped the latest global rankings for welfare spending, the analyst behind the report tells The Local, France’s much admired welfare system is simply unsustainable. READ  

French minister slams US police killings
French minister Christiane Taubira quotes Bob Marley to express her anger over US police killings. Photo: AFP

French minister slams US police killings

France's black Justice Minister Christiane Taubira on Tuesday waded into the conflict over racially charged killings in the United States, quoting Rastafarian reggae icon Bob Marley on Twitter to express her anger. READ  

Frenchman develops scented flatulence pills
A new pill allegedly makes wind from flatulence smell like chocolate. Photo: Shutterstock

Frenchman develops scented flatulence pills

A Frenchman may have come up with the perfect solution to one of life's major problems after he claimed to have invented a pill that makes bodily gases smell like roses and chocolate. READ  

Pope tells Europe to do more to help migrants
Pope Francis has told Europe to do more for migrants. Photo: AFP

Pope tells Europe to do more to help migrants

Pope Francis urged an "haggard" Europe to do more for migrants and fight rising nationalism in a speech to the EU parliament on Tuesday, telling MEPs the Mediterranean must not turn into a "vast cemetery". READ  

The Mistral conundrum
Hollande halts warship delivery indefinitely
France has postponed delivery of Mistral ship to Russia "until further notice". Photo: AFP

Hollande halts warship delivery indefinitely

French President François Hollande on Tuesday delayed the controversial delivery of a high-tech warship to Russia "until further notice" over the Ukraine crisis. Russia later said it does not plan to sue France by way of response. READ  

Rare Shakespeare work found in northern France
William Shakespeare's first folio, Comedies, Histoires et Tragedies, a copy of which was found in northern France. Photo: Caso

Rare Shakespeare work found in northern France

A library in northern France has unearthed a literary treasure that it has been sitting on unknowingly for two centuries - a rare copy of a collection of William Shakespeare’s plays titled "First Folio" - printed just seven years after his death. READ  

French pensioners in hospital 'suicide pact'
The tragedy has reignited France's heated debate on assisted suicide and euthanasia. File photo: Jazz Beaunola/flickr

French pensioners in hospital 'suicide pact'

In what was an apparent suicide pact, an 84-year-old man entered the hospital ward of his 82-year-old terminally ill wife and shot her before turning the gun on himself. The tragedy has reignited France’s debate on assisted suicide. READ  

Pope's Strasbourg visit riles French secularists
François Hollande with Pope Francis in the Vatican earlier this year. Photo: AFP

Pope's Strasbourg visit riles French secularists

Pope Francis visited the eastern French city of Strasbourg on Tuesday where he will address the European Parliament on subjects such as immigration. French secularists are unhappy about the visit of a religious leader to a European political institution. READ  

Paris-Berlin report says 'freeze wages in France'
The finance ministers of Germany and France - Wolfgang Schäuble and Michel Sapin - meet for an informal Franco-German conference earlier this month. Photo: AFP

Paris-Berlin report says 'freeze wages in France'

France and Germany are set to present a joint economic reform paper this week that proposes Paris would freeze wages, make the 35-hour week more flexible and Berlin would hike public investment, a news report said. READ  

Paris pollution: 'Like a room with eight smokers'
This air in Paris was the same as being in a room with eight smokers. Photo: AFP

Paris pollution: 'Like a room with eight smokers'

Although the City of Light has a lot to offer its visitors, fresh air isn’t one of them. At its worst, pollution in Paris is as bad as being stuck in a 20-square-metre room with eight smokers, a report showed on Monday. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Gallery
French government gives 10 reasons to be proud: No. 1 - The Economy
Sponsored Article
Win your Christmas list: €250 at Marks & Spencer
Politics
France's 'first ladies': A look back at the other halves
National
Would background music make the RER in Paris feel safer?
Sponsored Article
Shop Christmas gifts at Debenhams international store
National
Trierweiler to break her silence... in the UK
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Winter is coming to the French Alps
Gallery
Don't confuse France with Paris: Here's ten reasons why
Sponsored Article
Live like a local - anywhere in the world
National
From the homeless to migrants: A portrait of modern France in ten stats
Culture
Are you brainy enough to be Miss France? Take the quiz
Gallery
France's most notorious celebrities. How many do you know?
Society
City of Love? Seven Paris myths debunked
Education
Why is France worst in the EU at English?
National
C'est pas possible! Paris is 'world's cheapest city for young people'
National
Looking to save space? France allows toilets in kitchens for first time
National
Find out how women in France are getting stung for a hidden tax
Culture
Which one is your favourite? The top 10 heartiest French winter dishes
Face Of The Week
Nabilla - 'France's Kim Kardashian' held for attempted murder
National
So who's scaring everyone by flying drones over France’s nuclear plants?
Education
Whoever thinks French was a dying language should read this
Politics
OPINION: 'One day France will be grateful to François Hollande'
Gallery
IN IMAGES: A history of France's most controversial architecture
National
How to make an 8-square-metre Paris apartment perfectly liveable
Gallery
VIDEO: France's raunchiest TV ads, including that infamous Perrier one
National
Five reasons why you should work a ski season in France and five not to
National
10 art exhibitions not to miss this autumn in Paris
Culture
What's on in France: 11 things to do this November
National
How French have you become? Take our quiz to find out
National
10 things to never say to a French person
National
Top 10: When French translations go wrong
National
Parisian bars that serve drinkers free meals
National
France falls to Germans in nude swim tourney
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Nowhere combines sex and art quite like France
National
Why you should never turn down an invitation to a French wedding
Sport
Discover the route of the 2015 Tour de France. There are a few surprises
Gallery
Ten changes that would make learning French so much easier
Culture
IN PICTURES: 'Glass ship' Vuitton ready to set sail in Paris
International
How a giant 'sex toy' earned an American artist a slap in Paris
National
'Unlike in the US the French don't put the blame on the poor'
Gallery
Cover up and don't be too Latin: French travel warnings for the US
Society
Macholand: The online uprising against sexism in France
Gallery
In pictures: The daily life of the 2,000 migrants in Calais
Culture
Erotic promo video earns the Musée d'Orsay our "Only in France" award
National
Seven reasons why everyone should work in a bar in France
National
The cost of expat home comforts: How France compares to Europe
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se