The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has officially stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour titles.
“He has received a lifetime period ofineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present, as the result of his involvement in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy,” a USADA statement said on Friday afternoon.
This comes in the light of Armstrong’s choice to not challenge the evidence against him yesterday evening.
“I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair,” Armstrong said in a statement published on his website. “Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims.”
Tour de France organisers ASO have yet to comment.
Evidence of PED use
The USADA statement continues later: “Numerous witnesses provided evidence to USADA based on personal knowledge acquired, either through direct observation of doping activity by Armstrong, or through Armstrong’s admissions of doping to them that Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from before 1998 through 2005 and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and hGH through 1996.”
“… Additionally, scientific data showed Mr. Armstrong’ use of blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions during Mr. Armstrong’s comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour de France.”
With his disqualifications, it is likely that Bradley Wiggins would move up to third place in the 2009 Tour de France.
Armstrong will also be stripped of his Tour de Suisse win in 2001 and Dauphine Libere titles from 2002 and 2003.
Armstrong’s anti-doping violations
USADA listed the five anti-doping rule violations for which Armstrong is being sanctioned:
-Use and/or attempted use of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents.
-possession of prohibited substances and/or methods including EPO, blood transfusions and related equipment (such as needles, blood bags, storage containers and other transfusion equipment and blood parameters measuring devices), testosterone, corticosteroids and masking agents.
-trafficking of EPO, testosterone, and corticosteroids.
-administration and/or attempted administration to others of EPO, testosterone, and cortisone.
-assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up and other complicity involving one or more anti-doping rule violations and/or attempted anti-doping rule violations.