Lance Armstrong Has Officially Been Stripped Of All Seven Tour De France Wins

He's Also Been Banned For Life

Back in August we got word that the USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) was preparing to strip Lance Armstrong of his Tour de France titles and impose a lifetime ban on him, following an investigation into the famed cyclist’s use of performance-enhancing drugs. Lance had discontinued his fight against the USADA but also maintained his innocence and claimed that they could not strip him of his wins. However, as of today, the International Cycling Union has confirmed that Lance is, indeed, being stripped of his titles. Click inside to learn more.

CNN has the report:

Lance Armstrong is losing the seven cycling titles that made him a legend.

The International Cycling Union announced Monday that Armstrong is being stripped of his Tour de France titles.

“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” said the union’s president, Pat McQuaid, announcing that Armstrong is banned from the sport.

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.”

McQuaid said he was “sickened” by the report.

But he emphasized, “Cycling has a future.”…

Armstrong has steadfastly maintained his innocence. At an event Sunday, he did not refer to the controversy directly but said it’s been “an interesting and at times very difficult few weeks.”

Armstrong’s story — that of a cancer survivor who tamed the grueling three-week race more than any other cyclist before or since — had made him a household name. But allegations of doping long dogged his career.

Then came this month’s finding by the USADA.

This month’s findings showed that Armstrong had extensive communication (which involved money laundering, tax evasion and widespread doping) with a Swiss company and its disgraced doctor, Michele Ferrari. You can read more about the USADA‘s findings here.

I know a lot of PITNBRS felt that since Lance Armstrong did pass hundreds of drug tests, this whole movement made no sense. But from what I understand, it’s not impossible to pass these tests and still be guilty of using drugs. A recent 30 For 30 documentary on ESPN explored this method in professional runners and it was frightening to hear so many athletes confess to using drugs and explain that pretty much everyone does it, and there are ways to get away with it, ways for reports to go missing, etc.

What do you guys think of the news? I understand Lance Armstrong has also steadily been losing endorsement deals, so this is (obviously) no small potatoes. And, regardless of guilt or innocence, this has to be an exhausting process for him. The USADA seems hell bent on dragging his name through the mud– but does he deserve it?

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  1. “The USADA seems hell bent on dragging his name through the mud– but does he deserve it?”

    Ummm.. YES! Did you read report that was issued? He isn’t charged for just a few counts here and there. There are 200+ pages of stories and witnesses from 1998-2006,each story more unbelievable than the next. Bus blood transfusions, last-minute saline injections, having people house-sit to regulate the hormones he kept in his fridge — it’s nuts.

    If anything is unfair about this, it’s the fact that he is th only one getting penalized. From other reports I have read about this ordeal, it’s understood that professional cycling has ultimately come down to this. It isnt about physical strength, commitment and training that will win you a title. It’s the most money, best access to doctors and best drugs given by the best team that will determine a cyclist’s success. It was even referred to as a “chess game” of strategic information seeking and sometimes chance.

    But yes, Shannon, Armstrong deserves ALL of this — but he is not the only one.

    • TheFabFour, I’m with you on this: “If anything is unfair about this, it’s the fact that he is the only one getting penalized.” Certainly, I do not weep for Lance Armstrong right now, lol. Although– to be fair– I’m sure his fans and supporters feel for him. I guess I’m just thinking there is SOOO much of this in sports. And especially after having watched that doc that I mentioned, it’s so normalized for the athletes, in a way. I guess you could argue that they are trying to make an example out of Lance, but I think you’re right. His story is way more complicated due to the money laundering, and all that other stuff.

  2. Nancy

    I don’t judge either way If he is innocent, I feel really bad for him. But if he is guilty, then I think he was Uber-greedy! I mean winning 7 times? He had to know some one, somewhere at sometime was gonna spill the beans on his “doings”. He destroyed is marriage and carreer in persuit of this goal through what now the USADA says was underhanded means. Glad I’m not Lance Armstrong today :)

  3. romesf415

    Good riddance!! I can’t stand people in general who do this kind of shit! He’s a douchebag and got what he deserved. He’s name is forever tainted!! Well, that’s his fault!

  4. I’m on the fence about this… If he did do it and everyone else is doing it.. then isn’t it fair? LOL, but my main point about being on the fence about it, it that because of these 7 wins, which turned into big money endorsements turned into one of the largest cancer charity organizations… he literally has saved lives. I honestly don’t believe Livestrong would be where it is today without Lance’s wins…

    • schmee

      Livestrong doesn’t/didn’t fund cancer research, they funded “quality of life” information for cancer patients. They also spent $45 to raise every $100 which is way above the 35% limit.

      Some cancer research charities would argue that Livestrong diverted funds from real research

    • Those who continue to support Armstrong on the basis that he used his success to promote cancer awareness, support, research, etc. must endorse the notion that “the end justifies the means.” Generally, that notion is not a good idea.

  5. How many people are REALLY that into biking? Lance made a name for himself by winning 7 Tour De France competitions…but is your average person going to know who won this year? It just seems like such a nitche sport, if he didn’t have so many endorsements I doubt it would get so much coverage. I also find it funny that his whole entire team said they doped with him, but he is the one being vilified. I just don’t see the point in beating him down so much, when CLEARLY it is a sport-wide, team-wide problem.

    Separately, it seems that doping is just so wide spread in all of our professional sports. When they make a test for one, then they find a way to create another similar drug that won’t give you a positive test. Is there any solution to this? Do the restrictions increase the value of doping black-markets?

  6. Karen

    As a cycling fan and amateur triathlete, I think it sucks when people cheat to get ahead. But I also can look at this and see how a good athlete, someone who could win on their own accord, could get sucked into this with their team, manager and other industry professional encouraging the behavior as “the only way” to stay competitive.

    Unfortunately, we’ll never really “know” the origin of the problem from years past. I ask you all to consider this scenario:
    You’re one of the best in the world in your sport, and you get a huge contract for multiple years for a team that will elevate you to the highest honor in your sport. It pays you a lot of money and is linked to huge endorsements.
    This is your JOB – you get paid to perform in this job, and your boss tells you you’re going on a plan for blood doping and/or EPO. Your boss is guaranteeing you won’t get caught. You know it’s wrong, but to sever your contract will cost you multiple millions of dollars to buy yourself out. If you rat your team management out, you’ll never get a contract again with another team. So where do you stand? Do you quit cycling? Or do you go along with the herd of others following the same program?

    The bigger issue with this particular case is that this rabbit hole is way too deep to follow all the way through. Armstrong isn’t a saint, and he’s broken the rules, but an after-the-fact judgement from the UCI carries a huge risk – one that can further tarnish the sport’s reputation.

    Where do you stop? So the UCI strips Armstrong of his titles, and awards 7 other people wins – but are the past samples from these seven athletes being rerun against the same standards? Are their teammates being interviewed to see if they were, in fact, doping? Let’s take a look at the fine gentlemen that placed 2nd all of these years:

    1999: 2nd place: Alex Zülle – his 1998 team was banned for doping.
    2000: 2nd place: Jan Ullrich – found guilty of doping and fired from the T-Mobile team as a result
    2001: 2nd place: Jan Ullrich – found guilty of doping and fired from the T-Mobile team as a result
    2002: 2nd place: Joseba Beloki – investigated and named in Operacion Puerto doping scandal; cleared in Spanish court due to lack of evidence
    2003: 2nd place: Jan Ullrich – found guilty of doping and fired from the T-Mobile team as a result
    2004: 2nd place: Andreas Klöden – allegations against Andreas Klöden while on T-Mobile have been raised but never investigated
    2005: 2nd place: Ivan Basso – admitted to doping and served a suspension

    As you move down the podium, the same issues exist. Without interviewing everyone in past/present cycling, and rerunning every blood sample, you can’t say with certainty that the winners that inherit these titles were riding clean.

    • Shannon m.

      Thank you so much for bringing this info forward Karen. I was wondering what the 2nd placers were like. Turns out, not much different.

  7. Megan

    What is not fair is that he is becoming the face of it. There were a lot of people involved, and someone got Lance into it in the first place. But he’s the most famous, so he’s taking the heat. I mean he should of thought about this as his fame was skyrocketing. I’m sure it got to his head and he just wanted more and more.

  8. JCZ

    Yes, he deserves them taken away from him if this is the case.

    But I ask the real question: Does anyone actually like cycling? I would rank them above paparazzi in the pests category.

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