USADA strips Lance Armstrong’s Tour de France victories

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has announced the formal disqualification of cyclist Lance Armstrong’s seven Tour de France victories, also slapping him with a lifetime competition ban.

“Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition,” USADA Chief Executive Travis Tygart said in the statement. “Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion, as was done in this case.”

Photos: Lance Armstrong through the years

Armstrong announced Thursday night he was giving up his years-long fight against accusations he used performance-enhancing methods to win his Tour titles, deciding not to proceed in an arbitration process with the USADA.

Armstrong never tested positive for performance-enhancing use during his decade-plus of Tour races.

But Tygart said earlier Friday he was confident an independent arbitration judge would have ruled in the agency’s favor had Armstrong’s case proceeded through arbitration.

“All the evidence -- bit by bit, piece by piece, fact by fact -- was going to be presented in a legal proceeding,” Tygart said. “We’re confident the truth would have been revealed in that process. If not, we would have never brought the case.”

More to come at


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