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UCI call kills Lance legacy

LANCE ARMSTRONG has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after the International Cycling Union (UCI) said today it had ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) sanctions.

THE decision was announced at a UCI news conference.

“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” said the UCI president, Irishman Pat McQuaid, as he confirmed the ratification.

On October 10, USADA published a report into Armstrong, which alleged the now retired American rider had been involved in the “most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen”.

Armstrong, 41, had previously elected not to contest USADA charges, prompting USADA to propose his punishment pending confirmation from cycling's world governing body.

McQuaid, whose organisation has long battled a major doping problem throughout the sport, added: “This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads and has had to start anew.”

He said he would not be resigning.

“When I took over (as president) in 2005 I made the fight against doping my priority.

“I acknowledged cycling had a culture of doping. Cycling has come a long way. I have no intention of resigning as president of the UCI,” McQuaid said.

Other issues such as the potential re-awarding of Armstrong's Tour titles will be discussed by the UCI Management Committee on Friday.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme has said he believes no rider should inherit the titles given doping was so widespread at the time.

“I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report," McQuaid added.