Armstrong stripped of Tour titles
Lance Armstrong chose not to contest doping charges
Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and handed a lifetime ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency after electing not to contest doping charges brought against him.
The 40-year-old announced his decision on Thursday night and USADA quickly stated their intention to severely punish the American.
And they have confirmed those sanctions in a lengthy statement issued on their website.
It read: "USADA announced today that Lance Armstrong has chosen not to move forward with the independent arbitration process and as a result has received a lifetime period of ineligibility and disqualification of all competitive results from August 1, 1998 through the present, as the result of his anti-doping rule violations stemming from his involvement in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy (USPS Conspiracy)."
Armstrong, who was charged in June, sought a temporary restraining order against the agency's legal action but that was dismissed in a federal court in Austin, Texas on Monday.
USADA claim once that action failed Armstrong had until midnight on Thursday to contest the evidence against him in an arbitrary hearing, and was fully aware of the consequences of not doing so.
The statement continued: "Following the dismissal of Mr. Armstrong's lawsuit on Monday, August 20, 2012, by the federal court in Austin, Texas, Mr. Armstrong had until midnight on Thursday, August 23, to contest the evidence against him in a full evidentiary hearing with neutral arbitrators as provided by U.S. law.
"However, when given the opportunity to challenge the evidence against him, and with full knowledge of the consequences, Mr. Armstrong chose not to contest the fact that he engaged in doping violations from at least August 1, 1998 and participated in a conspiracy to cover up his actions.
"As a result of Mr. Armstrong's decision, USADA is required under the applicable rules, including the World Anti-Doping Code under which he is accountable, to disqualify his competitive results and suspend him from all future competition."
The statement goes on to give details of some of the evidence USADA claim to have gathered against Armstrong. Over a dozen witnesses, up to 10 of whom are believed to be former team-mates, agreed to testify and give evidence against Armstrong, who has never failed a drugs test.
This is now just the begining of a long and bitter battle involving The UCI, WADA, UADAD and CSA and shall end up with USADA being lambasted for their unethical bahaviour and complete disregard of the rules involved in this type of case, including their own. CAS will hand this back to UCI who will use their own evidence and keep the TDF titles in place as they are. Armstrong will then pursue USADA for their treatment of him and Travis Tygart will be thrown out of the USADA.
The US Federal Court when ruling they could not and should not be involved in the case clearly stated that USADA case had no foundation and gave serious concerns on its outcome to the constiitutional rights.
This case will be THE Watershed case that will shape how Drugs Cheats in ALL Sports shall be handled.
He may or may not have cheated but this will end up not being about him but how the process and procedures are dealt with and by whom as the UCI have already told USADA they have no rights in the matter and have authority to change the titles won in their sport.