Posted Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at 9:18 AM
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images.
Lance Armstrong was officially stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by his sport's international body Monday morning.
The move was largely a formality in the wake of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's damning report about his alleged doping but one that nonetheless cements the cancer survivor's fall from the pinnacle of sport. The move clears the way for Tour organizers to officially remove Armstrong's name from its record books, erasing his record-setting win streak in his sport's marquee event that spanned the better part of a decade and made him a household name in Europe and North America.
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid said at a news conference in Geneva on Monday morning. "This is a landmark day for cycling."
The Associated Press on the question of reassigning Armstrong's yellow jerseys:
If Armstrong's Tour victories are not reassigned there would be a hole in the record books, marking a shift from how organizers treated similar cases in the past. When Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour victory for a doping violation, organizers awarded the title to Andy Schleck. In 2006, Oscar Pereiro was awarded the victory after the doping disqualification of American rider Floyd Landis.
USADA's position is that the Tour titles should not be given to other riders who finished on the podium, such was the level of doping during Armstrong's era.
The agency said 20 of the 21 riders on the podium in the Tour from 1999 through 2005 have been "directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations" or other means. It added that of the 45 riders on the podium between 1996 and 2010, 36 were by cyclists "similarly tainted by doping."
The long-time—and now very much former—Nike spokesman could still face further sporting sanctions, including being stripped of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal. He's also likely to face a number of civil lawsuits.