DALLAS (CN) - The governing body for cycling will strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him from the sport for life, the Union Cycliste Internationale said today.
The UCI accepted the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's "reasoned decision" that accused Armstrong of having run the most sophisticated doping program in sports history.
The UCI said in a statement today that it will not appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and will recognize and enforce the sanctions that USADA has imposed.
"The UCI will disqualify all competitive results achieved by Mr. Armstrong from 1 August 1998 thereon," UCI President Pat McQuaid said in a 4-page " Decision of the UCI regarding the case United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) versus Lance Armstrong."
"The sporting consequences of such disqualification on the rankings (will) be discussed by the UCI Management Committee during an upcoming extraordinary meeting."
In a statement accompanying its decision, the UCI says the USADA's "reasoned decision" explained how riders on Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling team showed no signs of disclosing what they knew until they were required by the law to do so under oath or called by federal investigators.
"These riders have confronted their past and told their stories. Their accounts of their past provide a shocking insight into the USPS Team where the expression to 'win at all costs' was redefined in terms of deceit, intimidation, coercion and evasion," the UCI said in its statement. "Their testimony confirms that the anti-doping infrastructure that existed at that time was, by itself, insufficient and inadequate to detect the practices taking place within the team."
The UCI said it has tested Armstrong 218 times. Armstrong always claimed to never have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
"If Lance Armstrong was able to beat the system, then the responsibility for addressing that rests not only with the UCI but also with WADA and all of the other anti-doping agencies who accepted the results," the UCI said. "Riders who were caught doping continue to do the sport a disservice by protesting that the UCI refused to engage with them."
Last week, longtime Armstrong sponsor Nike cuts its ties with him, and Armstrong resigned from the Livestrong foundation he founded, which has raised $500 million for cancer research.