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Armstrong stripped of Tour titles

As was expected, Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour De France titles. After the US Anti-Doping Agency published details of Armstrong’s US Postal team’s systematic doping, it was just a matter of time before Armstrong was written out of the record books.

Pat McQuaid, the president of the sport’s governing body, the UCI, was unequivocal in his condemnation of Armsatrong. "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," McQuaid said. "He deserves to be forgotten."

Much of the evidence against Armstrong was provided by former team-mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton. Both riders had protested their innocence when testing positive for drugs but had later admitted doping and testified against Hamilton. McQuaid was far from grateful.

"Landis and Hamilton are being made out to be heroes," he said. "They are as far from heroes as night from day. They are not heroes. They are scumbags. All they have done is damage to the sport."

The controversy will continue, not least because there are those who still contend that the integrity of the UCI was compromised by the cash donations that Armstrong made to the organisation. McQuaid argued that any suggestion of a cover-up is "absolutely untrue."

Armstrong will now come under pressure to repay all the prize money from the Tour De France, although winnings are traditionally shared between all the members of a team.

The UCI will also meet to decide whether the runners-up in those Tours will be awarded the yellow jersey retrospectively. The issue is complicated by the fact that several of those riders have themselves tested positive or been implicated in doping.

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