Sunday 24 September 2017

Lance Armstrong will be forced to pay back Tour de France winnings

DISGRACED Lance Armstrong is likely to be forced to repay his Tour de France winnings after being stripped of his seven titles for doping offences.

The UCI, cycling's world governing body, ratified the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency, who concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Armstrong was banned for life and all his results from August 1, 1998 removed, including his wins at the Tour from 1999 to 2005.

The UCI management committee will meet on Friday to discuss the "exact sporting consequences" of the decision, including whether the titles and prize money will be re-distributed.

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme believes the race must not have a victor in the Armstrong years.

Prudhomme said: "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.

"The UCI rules are clear. When a rider is disqualified, he must pay the prize money back."

The International Olympic Committee will await Friday's UCI meeting and further information before a decision is made on the bronze medal Armstrong won in Sydney in 2000.

Armstrong, who battled back from cancer to return to professional cycling, has repeatedly denied wrongdoing and refused to co-operate with the USADA investigation.

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