Lance Armstrong Doping: International Cycling Union Strips Champion Of 7 Tour De France Titles, Bans Him For Life

Lance Armstrong Stripped Of 7 Tour De France Titles

GENEVA, Oct 22 (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life after the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Monday 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," UCI President Pat McQuaid said as he confirmed the ratification.

On Oct. 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.

Former Armstrong team mates at his U.S. Postal and Discovery Channel outfits, where he won his seven straight Tour titles from 1999 to 2005, testified against him and were given reduced bans by the American authorities.

Armstrong, once widely accepted as one of the greatest cyclists of all time given he fought back from cancer to dominate the sport, has always denied doping and says he has never failed a doping test.

He said he had stopped contesting the charges after years of probes and rumours because "there comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough'".

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. (Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Mark Meadows)

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