Lance Armstrong Stripped of Tour de France Titles

Cyclist also banned from the sport for life by anti-doping authorities

Lance Armstrong seen here taking part in the 2008 Tour de Gruene
Lance Armstrong seen here taking part in the 2008 Tour de Gruene (Photo courtesy of Daniel Norton)

The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency has ruled that Austinite Lance Armstrong should be banned from the sport for life and must surrender his seven Tour de France titles.

Having faced allegations of doping for years, Armstrong recently heard from Judge Sam Sparks that his case, in which he'd been denied due process, would be thrown out on the grounds that he could still take the USADA to arbitration. Armstrong announced yesterday that he would not do so, triggering forfeiture and the lifetime ban from cycling. Armstrong officially retired a decade ago, and he won his seven titles between 1999 and 2005.

Armstrong maintains his innocence.

From the USADA's statement, released this morning:

"The evidence against Lance Armstrong arose from disclosures made to USADA by more than a dozen witnesses who agreed to testify and provide evidence about their first-hand experience and/or knowledge of the doping activity … As part of the investigation Mr. Armstrong was invited to meet with USADA and be truthful about his time on the USPS team but he refused."

From Lance Armstrong's website:

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now. … Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today – finished with this nonsense."

From Mayor Lee Leffingwell's statement:

"I am proud of my friendship with Lance Armstrong. Lance is not only a friend to me, but also a friend to Austin, and a friend and hero to millions of cancer survivors and their families around the globe. His incredible generosity of spirit has been and remains an inspiration to me and countless others, and can never be taken away. I'll ride bikes with Lance Armstrong any day."
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