The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said early Friday it will strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and impose a lifetime ban, a move that came just hours after the cyclist announced he would no longer fight charges of illegal doping.
A formal announcement by the USADA is expected later in the day, "but his choosing not to contest the charges means that there will be a lifetime ban and a loss of all results beginning from August 1, 1998," agency spokeswoman Annie Skinner told CNN in an emailed statement.
Even so, there is a question about whether the USADA - a quasi-government agency recognized as the official anti-doping agency for Olympic, Pan American and Paralympic sports in the United States - has the authority to take action against Armstrong.
The International Cycling Federation, whom Armstrong has said should be the arbiter in his case, has opposed the American agency's actions by claiming it has jurisdiction. That position has been recently backed by USA Cycling, the official cycling organization recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee.