Lance Armstrong is to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after he announced he will not contest USADA’s charges against him.



Having tried for weeks to bring about legal action and political action to stop the case, Armstrong has now said in a statement that he is ‘finished with this nonsense.’



In a statement published on his website yesterday he said: “There comes a point in every man’s life when he has to say, “Enough is enough.” For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999.”



He continues to attack USADA, a body whose processes he had previously supported, saying; “I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA’s charade…… If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance.”



“But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims.”



Had Armstrong wanted to defend himself over the charges he would have had to do so in a public arbitration hearing. The American could also be banned for life from all sports that operate under the WADA code, meaning he won’t be able to compete in any more Ironman events.



Armstrong won the Tour de France on seven consecutive occasions from 1999 to 2005 to become the most successful Tour rider in history. Tour organisers the ASO are yet to make any statement.



More to come….



Related links

Armstrong attacks USADA for opening formal action against him

Armstrong banned from triathlons as new doping charges are brought against him

Judge dismisses Armstrong lawsuit against USADA

UCI attempts to block USADA Armstrong case

  • Proud to be British

    It will be interesting to see what the UCI do next and when. That will be the defining moment in all of this.

  • Mike

    LS.

    How can “a cheat,a bully and a master media manipulator” be a hero to anyone?

    In my opinion a hero is defined by there personality, not simply by there achievements. As the Yanks themselves like to say, It aint what you do its the way that you do it.

    As has been said lots of times, If something looks too good to be true, it uaualy is.

    I hope the fact that a megga rich, litigation keen superstar has been brought to book may just make any new pro think twice before going down the doping route. They have to believe they will get chased to the end if they cheat.

    I hope every one of his sponsor and backers is as disapointed as I am.

  • LS

    I’ve no doubt that he doped and made my mind up a couple of years ago after reading numerous books and internet stuff about Lance and doping in general. We all need to make up our own minds and mine is made up, it’s no surprise. He was an inspirational bloke and there are generations of cyclists out there that have spent their hard earned cash with, Trek, Nike and on cycling and fittness kit in general. The cycling and sports industry needs heros, figure heads, as do all industries in todays globalised, corporate age. Lance was part of that system, we are part of that system, love hime or hate ypu can’t deny he has generated some dollar value for the big boys and there lies the root of all this evil.

    On a more human note, he was an an incredible athlete who produced outstanding perfromances. I love to rewatch the TdF DVDs and see him put the competition to the sword as he dances up the moutains. I still feel the spirit of Lance push me and drive me on when I struggle up the big hills myself (blush). A cheat, a bully, master media manipulator, yes, yes, yes. A hero, a remarkable man of his time, yes. He’s a figure that will continue to intrigue and conflict us for years to come. He was the best in his day but before the world can change the dinosaurs must die. I hope todays heros are as clean as they say they are and that they can remain on their pedastals for time infinitum. I guess they can officially write him out of the history books and the UCI approved results lists but this will only serve to make him legend. Write or wrong two new questions have started to bug me since I read todays posts; Will the UCI be sending a car round to Armstrong Ranch to pick up all his yellow jerseys and finally, if you found out that Lance was in town on Sunday for once of his famous impromtu rides, would you go out and join him… I know I would.

  • rehpog

    Innocent till proof of guilt emerges. Hearsay is not enough, especially when inducements have been offered, including anonymity.

  • Mike

    Lance playing the politician again.

    Evidence becomes too much to defend? Simple, run away so story never fully comes out, thus leaving the fanboys with the arguments above.

    A cheat, but a brilliant politician. He is still manipulating people. Witness the arguments on here.

  • Trevor

    @Steve T: Yes, a convicted doper takes gold – because everybody else was so intent on distancing Cavendish. They forgot there were three medals up for grabs, not just one. The other pros should be really proud of how the raced (sic).

  • sheldon

    A sad day for cycling, but I think we already knew Armstrong was a cheat, but they were all at it. Time to move on and look towards the future and make our sport the best it can be

  • Kenny M

    Evidence, evidence, evidence. Come on USADA, SHOW IT. Let the world see what you have, let the testimonies from your witnesses be published. Guilt can only be established by examining the evidence, no sportsman should be convicted without proof, it is not good enough to say that the evidence that you have will be released when the ‘time is right’. What on Earth does that mean!

  • Stuart Ream

    “This is my body, and I can do whatever I want to it. I can push it; Study it; Tweak it; Listen to it. Everybody wants to know what I am on. What am I on? I am on my bike busting my ass six hours a day; What are YOU on?” Lance Armstrong…….. LEGEND !!

  • Andrew Davenport

    Usada still haven’t made public any evidence……..why? is it just based on Floyd Landis testimony?

    but get this Floyd today has escaped a 20 yr jail sentence after he reached “A Deal” with the US Attorneys office, where by the court has paid back all the money given by his supporters for legal costs when he tried to prove his innocence for doping in the TDF. He has agreed to pay the $2million back to court but this is based upon future earning, which will probably be zilch.

    Funny that a drunk and convicted doper gets away with a 20yr jail sentence on the same day that Armstrong was due in court, one could mistakenly think this as a pay off ?

    If Usada’s evidence is just hearsay from convicted dopers and drunks I’ll laugh my socks off!

    I think Armstrong has done the right thing by basically sticking his fingers up at Usada and making them produce the evidence to the UCI for only they can remove his titles

  • McTyke

    Simon Richardson states that “Lance Armstrong is to be stripped of his seven Tour de France titles”.

    Really? This is such a poor piece of journalism. The USASA did not award those titles, so how can they take them away?

    Where is the physical proof that Armstrong doped? The system is based on analytical tests for banned substances in blood/urine, not on the opinions of various onlookers.

    How far back in history do we go, to strip riders of their titles? 5 years? 10 years? 50 years?

    The situation has become a farce, and I sympathise with Armstrong (despite not being a fan of his) and can understand why he doesn’t wants nothing more to do with it.

  • borderfox

    congratulations to Chris Boardman for being the first British Tour De France winner, i am sure he will be after they remove the other cheats from tour history

  • Mick W

    Why should any athlete now subject themselves to out of competition testing when the results of these tests are considered meaningless? I mean, why comply with the dawn raids if the tests carried out are invalidated against the word of disgraced teamates ? There are no winners in this whole sorry affair, sponsors will certainly be giving Cycling a wide berth from now on.

  • John Kipling

    What a schizophrenic nation the USA is! It will go to any lengths possible to hide a politician’s sexual indiscretions or dodgy dealings, or authorise Black Ops missions in enemy countries, and yet it is prepared to accept the testimony of proven dopers to hysterically pursue a sporting giant. Unbelievable!!

  • Seacilin

    Very well spoken Samuel Gee.

  • Woody

    Jon, I bet Lance wishes he still had them (in the plural)

  • Julian Webb

    So what are the UCI going to say now? The best Tour cyclist in history is no longer to carry those titles. How can all those drugs tests have been defeated? If he knew how to then so did most other cyclists. If cyclists can do it then so can almost every other form of athletics. This is a bad day for Lance but far worse for cycling and sport in general. Very sad.

  • Lee

    About time Lance got his comuppence, its obvious that he doped massively. There’s no way you attack day in and day out like he did and not get tired. “donations” to the UCi, positive tests in 1999 at the Tour de Suisse, bullying other riders, journalists with lawsuits etc etc…. the list is virtually endless.

    I have a tiny bit more respect for Tyler now as he has admitted AND now given back his olympic gold TT medal BUT…. the big loser out of all this is sport and all the clean athletes who will never have the joy and recognition of standing on the top step of the podium.

    Bravo USADA, they obviously have some serious evidence that im sure will come out over the next few months/years, once all of the investigations have been completed and they have dealt with Bruyneel.

    BUT what about the UCi????? why have they not done more to stem doping in the peloton, their all over the height of your socks and banning great innovations such as the Bont Aero Shoe …..oh and overshoes for next year. But they are completely toothless/gutless (take your pick) when dealing with dopers.

    I strongly suspect that the UCi are up to their armpits and have lawyers scrabbling around trying to protect their backside. (of course thats my opinion only).

    The sport perhaps wont move on properly until the UCi gets kicked into touch and a proper governing body set up who works seamlessly with WADA, Country bodies and manufacturers. Lets get proper innovation back from the manufacturers……..

    UCi – this is 2012!!!! we do not live in the 1970 Merckx era any more!!!! deal with it.

  • Steve T

    And meanwhile a convicted doper takes Olympic Gold

  • Samuel Gee

    @JeffGoldblumIII

    Lance hasn’t sued people that made allegations but there is nothing to say that Wiggo won’t. What was that word he used to describe people that accused him of doping began with a C I think. Any way he was fierce cross about it. So accusing Wiggins of being a doper is a serious matter. Just because this is a comment site does not absolve you from the laws of libel. Personally I think he should send a writ round. I’d actually pay to watch you try and back up your allegations in court then have to write Le Gentleman a biggish cheque. but he’s busier than I am so you may be lucky and get away with it. Just saying Jeff. Mind your manners eh?

  • Samuel Gee

    The article says Armstrong will be stripped of his titles. But hang on there USADA has no authority to do that. Only the UCI has. The UCI is holding fire on saying anything until they see the evidence. The UCI has backed Armstrong so far in challenging the jurisdiction of USADA to suspend or ban him so there is no guarantee they will back USADA. Politically quite interesting. Does the UCI defend its authority and tell USADA they have no business announcing they will strip Armstrong of UCI awarded wins? Or does UCI run scared that it will be seen to not be taking doping seriously. My money will be on the UCI telling USADA that it arrogantly overstepped itself announcing that it would strip Armstrong of his 7 TdF wins. And it will look into the matter shortly.

  • Pedro Nogo

    This whole “debate” (circus more like) is ridiculous. If he’s guilty, show us the unequivocal evidence and nail him to the wall, he deserves evreything that’s coming to him. If you can’t do that then give it up and move on. I’ve got mixed emotions here, I started riding a few years ago because of Armstrong so I want to believe him. But then again if he’s the liar his critics claim he is then he’s the biggest fraud of all time. Either way, this has dragged on and on and on and is not doing the sport any good, and you’ll never change the opinions of the pro & anti Armstrong supporters without clear evidence one way or the other (probably never going to get it anyway & even then……..). If the evidence is “the rest of the peloton was at it, so by beating them he must have been too” then where do you draw the line? why are we not investigating the runners up, stage winners etc You can also take that argument and apply it to previous winners, a certain well known Belgian included.
    What’s so damned frustrating is that the sport I love is once again mired in the mud and looking backwards. Blame looks backwards, responsibility looks forwards. It’s surely time to draw a line, start imposing life bans on those caught doping and focus on the future. Cycling is its own worst enemy as usual – the farce over Bertie’s irregular erm, diet, and his “two year” ban proving the point.

  • Eamonn P

    I never really liked Armstrong all that much, but I always hoped(maybe dreamt) that he hadn’t doped. As many have already said, lot’s of riders (David Millar for example), never tested positive, but admitted to doping. Armstrong did actually test positive once, but was cleared due to the amount being so small. Those rules obviously didn’t apply to Contador though.

    It would be great to see the evidence and get it cleared up once and for all, but I doubt we ever will.

    A sad day for cycling and cycling fans.

  • Phil H

    This is a sad day, the penalty far outweigh the allegations. It will be interesting who will be deemed a clean rider from the Armstrong years to pick up the second hand titles. I will continue to “Livestrong”.

  • Robert

    That some still seem to want to believe that Armstrong did not dope his way to his seven Tour ‘wins’ is a sad reflection on the essential irrationality of human nature. It is also clear that many passing comment have never read all the evidence about Armstrong’s doping, bullying and so on that has been public knowledge for years.

    ‘He never tested positive’. So what when so many other riders never tested positive despite later admitting to having doped right through their careers, when autologous blood doping was undetectable right through the Armstrong era and he clearly had the UCI in his pocket, willing to bury any positive tests in order to promote their aims of ‘globalising’ cycling and convincing people that things really did change after the Festina scandal.

    ‘There is no evidence’. Apart from all that eyewitness testimony that has been collected, the Epo in his 1999 Tour samples, his dodgy blood profiles and so on…

    Armstrong clearly believes that, given they way they have protected him for years, the UCI will refuse to ratify the stripping of his titles (despite be required to do so by the WADA code) something that will also help them to bury their own complicity in the biggest fraud in the history of cycling.

    The best way to put and end to Armstrong’s continuing propaganda war would be for USADA to make public every piece of evidence that they have collected. Here’s hoping.

  • Ed

    I think Paul Kimmage deserves a lot of respect as one of the few prepared to stand up to Armstrong and his intimidatory tactics

  • george l

    Lance was clean he showered and used soap.

  • Alan Sanders

    So if they persist and strip him of his seven titles who will they be handed to? Jan Ulrich (confirmed doper), Joseba Beloki (confirmed doper), Ivan Basso (confirmed doper), Andreas Kloden (bloody suspicious), Alex Zulle (confirmed doper).

    Bit of a farce methinks

  • Anthony Slack

    I’m sure someone has the answer to this question, which is why I’m asking it. How many of the other riders ‘banned’ in the past have “tested positive”? Many surely were convicted by association – OP, etc. So, LA isn’t the only one “never to have tested positive”, but have never the same, been guilty!

  • JohnD

    And before another person says “Armstrong is being stripped of his 7 titles” it’s actually the whole of cycling that is being stripped of those races.

    Everybody knows they were almost all doping. Putting another name in his place will just make that painful fact plain for all to see. Did Jan Ullrich really win the Tour four times? Pathetic.

  • JeffGoldblumIII

    Yeah Wiggins is probably doped. Look at his “transformation” – becomes a much better climber AND a much better TTer!?! If you were’nt living in England with our press – it’s not Brits that dope, just shifty foreigners.

    Yeah, Lance was doped. Now he’s covering his arse.

  • Terry

    So, if he is guilty, and no-one has yet presented actual evidence of failed dope tests in the TdF, does this mean the TdF organisers are involved in a cover up ?
    Could it be he was actually a brilliant athlete ?

  • Jon

    Another typical PR move as the volume of evidence against him becomes unsurmountable. He’s fought long and hard – generous “donations” to the UCI when they were administering the tests, cover ups and the war of words to discredit anyone who would testify against him – but ultimately the truth will out and the positive tests on his samples on file and the testimony of most of his former teammates are pretty conclusive evidence of his guilt. I wish he had had the balls to own up and make a commitment to riding clean years ago. This has been very damaging for the sport, all to protect the career and reputation of one dope cheat.

  • spikey

    This has so many angles but the one to focus on is surely that he did not fail a drug test. Presumably because this was not because he had some magic ingredient which enabled him to pass and all the other cheats to fail. Either the drug tests must have been corruptly administered throughout cycling or the drug tests do not work. What other explanation is there of the contradiction if you accept this logic?

    You cannot maintain that this is not a problem for cycling or sport in general. If the tests do not work and/or are corrupt then this puts a question over everyone – not only in Armstrong’s time but before and – yes – since. Wiggins was at pains to say that he was a clean rider winning a (more or less) clean tour but how do we know if we follow the logic of this decision as even a commentator like Matt Seaton seems to in the Guardian?

  • adam

    I particularly liked his bit about all those team mates knew who won those Tours. Combating the same weather. The same terrain etc etc etc.

    The same drugs…?

    This is a sure fire way to guarantee know one knows the information (unless the other case comes good) and he can ‘defend’ himself though the same mantra of ‘never tested positive’…. ‘never found guilty in court’. A shame and a sham. Let’s hope someone manages to drag the UCI through this and gets that house cleared out too.

  • Alan

    I do not like drug cheats, so let’s get that out of the way.

    Someone in WADA seems to have made a good living going after Armstrong instead of taking a much more productive route of ensuring today’s athletes are all completing cleanly.

    Enough is enough WADA move on to 2012 and get a grip!

    Also I would like to point out the WADA cannot take the titles off him, it has nothing to do with them. If they could take the titles off him, who the heck would get them? Would WADA go after everyone else that were in the races with Armstrong saying they were all “suspects” of drug abuse?

  • SJH

    I take it that all of the other riders taking part in those seven tours will now have their samples and tests re-examined? Bearing in mind Lance didn’t fail tests during the tour, how can only he be accused? Lance will always be an inspiration to many people. He is certainly one to me.

  • roginoz

    he is NOT admitting anything . he is saying he is fed up with charges . he must have been the MOST TESTED rider . it is hard to know what to say as he is NOT making it clear one way or the other . he should say A CATEGORICAL ….YAY or NAY .

  • Anthony Slack

    Such a lot of smugness across the internet! Who sincerely believed that one person could be SO MUCH better than his closest rival, who has been found to have been doping themselves, without being on some sort of ‘enhancement program’ themselves?!?! Has there been any progress towards ‘truth & reconciliation’ for cycling? No! In fact, there is probably less truth emerging from this charade. Who were those that testified against Armstrong? What guarantees did they receive? Was ‘Big George’ allowed to retire gracefully, in return for cooperation? I don’t like Lance Armstrong! I think he’s a liar, a cheat, a bully and a hypocrite! But, he’s also correct when he asserts this has been a witch-hunt, by someone with very personal objectives, who is primarily making a name for himself, rather than seeking any truth! This will now NEVER go to court. The UCI’s complicity will never be uncovered! The true extent of doping in cycling is no closer to being known! Anonymous cheats benefited from this process! Tygart vs Armstrong. Tygart wins on points. No knockout! Exactly what has been achieved??? Armstrong is still a legendary athlete! He won what he won against the best competition in the world, on a leveled playing field! Otherwise, who really won those 7 titles?

  • JD

    Another turd war dressed up for the masses as a moral crusade.

    This isn’t about Armstrong, it’s about who gets to have the final say, USADA, the UCI or even ASO. And a huge number of people who know bugger all about cycling are queuing up to debate Armstrong’s guilt or innocence as if they know the first thing about the sport or even really care. Depressing.

  • Colnago dave

    Anybody else think the same as me that given the comments from USADA , WADA, UCI and last weeks judgement in a US court that the whole thing has descended into farce.
    Whilst I am not convinced of his innocence I agree with his comment that it is time to draw a line under this.
    Stripping him of his titles means that probably the next clean rider would be the Lantern Rouge given the fact that suspicion if not convictions surround the runners up.
    If he is stripped of his titles what about the monies earned either as prize money or endorsement deals.
    Just suppose that he is stripped of his TDF titles and a judgement is given that he must pay back the prize money which traditionally he shares with the teams personnel and riders can you see these guys being willing to pay it back.
    Also if USADA strips him of his titles it is a fair presumption that his team mates either knew or also doped so what sanctions there. Just look at the number of ex team mates who have tested positive and the allegations surrounding the ex team management.
    This could be the biggest can of worms opened and will do nothing to enhance cyclings image

  • Bill Roberts

    This guy has had hundreds of dope tests over the years – all clean. USADA should have these samples independently rechecked and then either provide physical proof or apologise with hugh compensation to his charity.