Lance Armstrong's rise and fall
October 22nd, 2012
01:43 PM ET

Lance Armstrong stripped of Tour de France wins, banned for life

Editor's note:  Lance Armstrong has been stripped of the seven cycling titles that made him a legend. The decision follows this month's finding by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that there is "overwhelming" evidence that Armstrong was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program."

[Updated as 1:43 p.m. ET] An insurance company that covers the performance bonus for Lance Armstrong says it wants all of the money paid to the cyclist returned.

SCA Promotions said it "is considering all legal options to pursue a return of the funds paid."

"Mr. Armstrong is no longer the official winner of any Tour de France races and, as a result, it is inappropriate and improper for him to retain any bonus payments made by SCA."

The BBC has estimated the total amount is $7.5 million.

[Updated as 8:44 a.m. ET] Another day, another sponsor breaking from Lance Armstrong.

The fallout from the cyclist's doping accusations has forced another sponsor to jump ship. This time, it is Oakley. Last week Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the cancer charity Livestrong. Then he was stripped of his sponsorships with Nike and Anheuser-Busch.

"When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility," the company said in a statement. "We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest. We believe the Livestrong Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals."

[Updated at 7:54 a.m. ET] We've gotten a copy of the press release from the cycling body that explains its decision on Lance Armstrong as well as its reaction to the doping report.

The International Cycling Union said after reading the doping report it was clear that all members of the U.S. Postal Service team, which Armstrong was a part of, showed "no inclination to share the full extent of what they knew until they were subpoenaed or called by federal investigators and that their only reason for telling the truth is because the law required them to do so."

The group goes on to say that these investigations have forced riders to confront the truth about their stories.

"Their accounts of their past provide a shocking insight into the USPS Team where the expression to 'win at all costs' was redefined in terms of deceit, intimidation, coercion and evasion," the statement says. " Their testimony confirms that the anti-doping infrastructure that existed at that time was, by itself, insufficient and inadequate to detect the practices taking place within the team."

Read more of the group's statement here (PDF)

"Today's young riders do not deserve to be branded or tarnished by the past or to pay the price for the Armstrong era," the press release continues.

[Updated at 7:41 a.m. ET] So will the big blow to Armstrong wake up the rest of the cycling community with regard to doping? Can we expect to see a massive change and a doping-free sport?

International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid isn't quite ready to go that far.

"I don't think in any aspect of society there are no cheats," he said. "I do believe that doping can be hugely reduced."

The keys are education programs and how teams are structured, he said.

[Updated at 7:41 a.m. ET] "Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten from cycling," McQuaid said.

For a man who has been at the top of the mountain in this sport, this is quite a long and brutal fall.

What do you think? Vote in the poll below if you think the cycling body made the right decision and tell us what you think in the comments below.

[Updated at 7:37 a.m. ET] A bit of explanation here. The cycling agency has said it will not appeal any decisions to the Court of Arbitration regarding the dossier on doping. Instead the group moved directly and stripped Armstrong of his titles.

That means this is all said and done. His titles are gone forever.

[Updated at 7:30 a.m. ET] There's only one word that describes how International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid felt after reading the doping report on Armstrong: "Sickened."

Despite the Armstrong blow being a major blight on the sport of cycling, McQuaid emphasized that "cycling has a future."

[Updated at 7:26 a.m. ET] "Huge." "Inevitable." "Shocking." "Sad." "Depressing."

Those are the first words being used to describe the reaction to Lance Armstrong being stripped of his titles on Twitter.

[Updated at 7:11 a.m. ET] The damage to Lance Armstrong's reputation is massive.

First he stepped down as chairman of the cancer charity Livestrong. Then he was stripped of his sponsorships with Nike and Anheuser-Busch.

Now the former seven-time Tour de France winner has been banned from the sport for life. Fourteen years of his career are officially wiped from the record books.

[Updated at 7:08 a.m. ET] The news is the ultimate blow for the cyclist.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid says.

Will anything change after disgrace?

[Updated at 7:05 a.m. ET] The International Cycling Union has stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles because of the conclusion he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Highlights of the Armstrong report

"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.

[Posted at 6:56 a.m. ET] The International Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, is set to rule on the agency's recommendation that Armstrong be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles.

His reputation already in tatters after a lifetime ban by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, Armstrong finds out Monday whether he will be scrubbed from the record books for the seven feats that made him a cycling legend.

The USADA found "overwhelming" evidence that he was involved as a professional cyclist in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program."

The agency then announced it would ban Armstrong from the sport for life and strip him of his results dating from 1998. The decision wiped out 14 years of his career.

Should the International Cycling Union concur with the USADA's recommendation, it will be up to the organizers of the Tour de France whether it will nominate alternate winners for the 1999-2005 tours. The Amaury Sport Organisation, which runs the 21-day event, has said it will decide after the ruling.

soundoff (303 Responses)
  1. Ex Cycling Fan

    So if Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, but the others who "testified" do, then cycling has no place for me as a fan.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Poor baby

      October 22, 2012 at 7:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. rough Dia hunter

    This guy has dedicated his life to helping others (OVER HALF A BILLION $$ !!) with the fame he has garnered from cycling, and you hypocrites convict him based on WHAT? What you've simply read or heard in the news? Whether he competed within the rules or not, He certainly deserves better than this type of lynching.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:36 am | Report abuse |
    • anon

      nah

      October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • alexe

      Very well said yes to your comment, very very sad for Him:((

      October 22, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • hmmmmmmm

      We aren't convicting him. We are expressing our opinions on the news we read. Based on your logic if we made negative statements about that dude who shot up all the people in that cinema in Colorado, we would be quilty of convicting him based on what we read. Based on your logic we couldn't have an opinion on anything we didn't witness first hand. Seems to be a flaw in that logic, don't you agree? Oh wait, you can't comment on that because you're just reading this and not witnessing if first hand.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:57 am | Report abuse |
  3. Peg

    He is evil. Cheating at bicycle riding. I hope they put him in prison.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      Well that's the most idiotic statement I've heard in 5 minutes...

      October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Detroit Bird

    This is the same man who left his wife and 3 small children for a famous singer, after she stuck by him through beating cancer. Why is everyone so surprised he cheated in his career?

    October 22, 2012 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      Good point!

      October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
    • MSL58

      True. Who does he think he is? Newt Gingrich?

      October 22, 2012 at 7:47 am | Report abuse |
    • yyzxyz

      If you are going to make an accusatory comment, make sure it is true. I believe he never left his three children; he had full custody and raised them in Austin.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:55 am | Report abuse |
  5. Viji

    He floated a new term designer-cheat. Worst part is he bullied others to cheat too. He should be ashamed of himself or come clean and ask for forgiveness.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  6. chris

    How Sad. He lived his whole career telling a lie.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  7. GetReal

    So by the testimony of all the cyclist.......shut down bike races worldwide! They are all guilty!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. Jt_flyer

    The man has accomplished NOTHING but trouble for all the valued foundations.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:41 am | Report abuse |
  9. GetReal

    Amazing that an entire TEAM could be so weak as to let one man run them like puppets!

    October 22, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  10. TUT

    So sorry to hear this. I'm sure we'll never know the whole truth. But Lance brought cycling into the daily lives of the US, and Livestrong is such a great cause.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  11. ed

    Not only are the French LOSERS they are SORE LOSERS. Why don't you just declare the Tour de France open to French only. Then you know a Frenchman will win every year. Why we gave American lives to save their country, TWICE, I'll never know. Certainly wasn't worth it.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Jack

      And this is the second most idiotic comment I've seen in 5 minutes...

      October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Chat

      Dude, why do you blame the French? It was the USDA which caught him! You sound like the real loser! Get a life!

      October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      The French have nothing to do with this, blame the USADA if you want, you are the sore loser.

      And dont forget, the French were fighting on our side during the revolutionary war.

      October 22, 2012 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  12. Matt

    If you took cheating out of cycling all you'd have left is the bikes.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
    • hmmmmmmm

      No doubt during this era of it! But not in the Greg Lemond era. He was saying loud and often that drugs were taking over the sport, and specifically pointed toward Armstrong. He was accussed of jealousy, blah, blah , blah but, he knew just as many did, that this sport may have become the dirtiest of all.

      October 22, 2012 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Happy Nemo

    Poor guy, if I wewe him, I would quit my citizenship.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:44 am | Report abuse |
  14. jaw4

    Fine. But I still don't get it. Overwhelming evidence? Not one story I've read has detailed that evidence. Didn't he test negative every time? Convicting on hearsay are we? There was more evidence against OJ and he walked.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. Rachel

    Well, this certainly isn't surprising.

    Now, perhaps, this will end all of this nonsense by those who still believe Lance is innocent. Obviously, he is NOT.

    October 22, 2012 at 7:46 am | Report abuse |
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