It's payback time, Lance! Armstrong told to return EVERY PENNY of prize money earned during doping years
15:50 GMT, 26 October 2012
Lance Armstrong has been told to pay back all the prize money he won while using performance-enhancing drugs.
The 1999 to 2005 Tours de France will be forever without a winner after Armstrong was stripped of the titles, the International Cycling Union confirmed.
The UCI on Monday ratified the decision taken by the United States Anti-Doping investigation to ban Armstrong for life and strip him of all results since August 1998, including his seven successive Tour wins.
Exposed: The USADA lifted the lid on Lance Armstrong's drug cheating
At a special meeting of the UCI's
management committee, it was ruled results following any future
disqualifications relating to the Armstrong years, 1998 to 2005, would
not be reallocated.
statement read: 'With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of
the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday, October 22, the
management committee decided not to award victories to any other rider
or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.
committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive
sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to
2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation. The committee also
called on Armstrong and all other affected riders to return the prize
money they had received.
The Armstrong allegations
May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis launches allegations against the Texan.
May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.
February – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.
June – United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.
July – Armstrong files lawsuit against USADA accusing them of 'corrupt inducements' to other cyclists to testify against him.
August 20 – Armstrong's legal action dismissed in court.
August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight doping charges filed against him but insists he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles and banned from cycling for life by USADA.
October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him.
October 22 – Cycling's world governing body, the UCI confirms it has ratified USADA's decision to ban Armstrong from cycling for life and to strip him of his seven Tour de France titles for doping offences.
October 26 – The UCI confirms Armstrong's Tour titles will not be awarded to other riders, and calls on 'all affected riders' to return prize money earned while doping.
'The UCI management committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period – but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places.'
The UCI has come under intense criticism and scrutiny before and since the publication of USADA's 1000-page reasoned decision document, which concluded Armstrong and his United States Postal Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.
Three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond is among those to call for a change of leadership, but president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen, now honorary president, have stood firm.
Allegations were levelled at the UCI for accepting donations from Armstrong, and, although any wrongdoing is denied, the management committee will commission an independent investigation.
The UCI statement added: 'In order to ensure that UCI and cycling could move forward with the confidence of all parties, the governing body also decided to establish a fully independent external commission to look into the various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair.
'The committee agreed that part of the independent commission's remit would be to find ways to ensure that persons caught for doping were no longer able to take part in the sport, including as part of an entourage.'
Moves will begin next month, with recommendations to be published no later than June 1, 2013.
Erased from the history books: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven
Tour de France wins between 1999 and 2005 by cycling's world governing body
'UCI is determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport,' McQuaid said. 'We will take whatever actions are deemed necessary by the independent commission and we will put cycling back on track.
'Today, cycling is a completely different sport from what it was in the period 1998-2005.
'Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures and regulations in sport.
'Nevertheless, we have listened to the world's reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.'
Pending the results of the independent report, defamation proceedings against Paul Kimmage, a former cyclist and Sunday Times journalist, have been suspended, the UCI confirmed.
The UCI statement added: 'While continuing strongly to maintain the merits of UCI's case, the committee decided to seek to suspend the UCI legal action against journalist Paul Kimmage, pending the findings of the independent commission.
'UCI president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen who are individual parties to the case will similarly seek to put their cases on hold.'
The Armstrong affair has ripped a hole through the heart of the sport.
At this week's route presentation for next summer's 100th Tour, the 41-year-old Texan's sequence of seven straight wins were marked using asterisks.
Tour director Christian Prudhomme believed no one should replace Armstrong as winner, as few racing in the era are untainted by doping, particularly the use of blood-booster EPO. He now has his wish.
Armstrong declined the opportunity to cooperate with USADA, but following Monday's ruling removed the reference to his seven Tour wins from his Twitter profile.