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UCI may demand Armstrong repay Tour winnings

DISGRACED Lance Armstrong could 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.”

Denied

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

UCI president Pat McQuaid rejected calls for his resignation over perceived failures by the world governing body over the Armstrong affair, instead insisting cycling has a positive future and “Armstrong has no place in cycling”.

McQuaid was forced to insist the UCI has “nothing to hide” over a donation of more than $100,000 made by Armstrong in 2002, denying it was connected to any cover-up of a positive test. “UCI has nothing to hide in responding to the USADA report,” McQuaid added.

“Don't try to make the connection between the suspicious test and the donation. There were no positive tests from him.”


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