Hot on the heels of the UCI’s decision to ratify USADA’s sanctions on Lance Armstrong, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has asked Lance Armstrong to pay back prize money from his seven stripped Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005.
“The UCI rules are clear. When a rider is disqualified, he must pay the prize money back,” Prudhomme said.
Armstrong is thought to have won almost $3 million on his seven-Tour winning streak.
At a press conference in Paris on Monday afternoon, Prudhomme also re-stated his desire that the seven stripped editions that Armstrong won ought to be assigned no champion.
“The formal decision has to be taken by the UCI but for us, we must have a clean record… this period must be marked by the absence of winners,” he said.
“We are in a mafia system beyond doping and the world of sport, in a way,” he said. He called the USADA report “overwhelming”.
“This is a global crisis, the aura of Armstrong affects the whole world,” Prudhomme added. “The UCI must take all the lessons [from the Armstrong affair].”
“In 1998, certain people played a good game in denouncing Festina and saying that they were the only ones to cheat. That was clearly not the case. It’s something that transcends cycling, that concerns all disciplines,” he said.
There will likely be more questions relating to Armstrong for Prudhomme to field on Wednesday, when he announces the route of the 100th Tour de France.
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