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Armstrong ordered to repay Tour prize money

ESPN staff
October 26, 2012 « Hardy looking to spend more time with Frank Mir | Chartbeat test »

The history books will say there was no winner of the Tour de France between 1999 and 2005 after the International Cycling Union (UCI) decided not to award Lance Armstrong's titles to any other rider.

The UCI also demanded that Armstrong and his team-mates return the prize money they had received.

UCI president Pat McQuaid confirmed on Monday that the sport's governing body had accepted the findings of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and had stripped the American of his seven Tour titles.

In a special meeting in Geneva on Friday to discuss the "exact sporting consequences" of the decision, the UCI's management committee decided not to award the victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.

"The UCI management committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period," the UCI said in a statement. "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 statement also confirmed that there would an independent investigation into the allegations about the UCI relating the Armstrong scandal, which is expected to be published no later than June 1, 2013.

It said: "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."

McQuaid said the UCI had "taken decisive action" in the wake of the most damaging scandal in the sport's history and was determined to ensure cycling cleaned up its image.

"As I said on Monday, 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."

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