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Armstrong banned for life, stripped of titles


Registered Member
AUSTIN, Texas -- The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency said Thursday night it will strip Lance Armstrong of his unprecedented seven Tour de France titles after he declared he was finished fighting the drug charges that threaten his legacy as one of the greatest cyclists of all time.

Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive, said Armstrong also would be hit with a lifetime ban on Friday.

Still to be heard from was the sport's governing body, the International Cycling Union, which had backed Armstrong's legal challenge to USADA's authority.

Armstrong, who retired last year, declined to enter USADA's arbitration process -- his last option -- because he said he was weary of fighting accusations that have dogged him for years. He has consistently pointed to the hundreds of drug tests that he has passed as proof of his innocence during his extraordinary run of Tour titles stretching from1999-2005.

"There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement sent to The Associated Press. He called the USADA investigation an "unconstitutional witch hunt."

"I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999," he said. "The toll this has taken on my family and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today -- finished with this nonsense."
It's a sad day for cycling and Lance Armstrong.

He was sick of fighting, it was wearing him out.

Even with no positive tests that he illegally took anything, the USADA still choose to strip him of his titles and ban him for life.


Well-Known Member
Who ever accused him of doing anything wrong in the first place?

This isn't like the Ben Johnson case where they actually caught him using illegal substances according to the rules of the sport.

I can't believe that without any positive evidence of any kind that they would take away so many honors that Armstrong has achieved over the years. The thing is that this will taint his record forever and he wouldn't have had a chance to win all of that back even if he hadn't been banned.

This seems wrong.

He'll always be the greatest cyclist of all time in my mind.


Registered Member
Who ever accused him of doing anything wrong in the first place?
It was one of those things that people assumed because he started to get better with age that he was obviously doing steroids.

Other cyclists started to say he was doing steroids, and I believe some of his "teammates" (Floyd Landis) said he did them as well once they got caught.

He tested positive for a banned substance in 1999 but had a doctors prescription for what he was using, so it was not illegal and he was allowed to use it. They also said they have blood samples from 09 and 10 that prove he was on something but I don't think they actually showed any proof.


Registered Member
There has been systematic doping use in the sport ever since its beginning (and in all sports really). Only a very small portion have actually tested positive.

With that in mind, Armstrong's defence that 'he never tested positive' doesn't really say anything.

The first two who accused Armstrong were his teammates Landis and Hamilton, but both of them were scorned for it. They were called 'endemic liars' and their accounts put aside as 'delusional'.

The new revelations come from several more of Armstrong's teammates. People who were always on good foot with him and whose words can be trusted 100%. Zabriskie, Leipheimer, Hincapie and Vande Velde all testified; and their absence from the Olympic Games kinda indicate that what they had to say wasn't too positive (about themselves and the whole team). Also Vaughters was mentioned as possibly having testified. A man who is now a respected team director, but recently came clean with his past:
Vaughters Admits To Doping During Career | Cyclingnews.com

It would suit Lance to do the same. Finally come clean and stop acting like he's some holy martyr who fell victim to an unfair vendetta. All of the big contenders in the period between 1990 and 2010 (and long before that) were on doping, are we to believe that the guy who outbeated all these 'super'-humans seven times was clean? Even though several of his teammates tested positive or admitted to doping abuse later on? Even though these new testimonials claim there was systematic doping use within the team, in which Armstrong was no doubt involved?

USADA doesn't ban athletes for nothing, certainly not national heroes. It's a shame the facts will never see daylight because Lance took the easy way out and can now persist in his innocence without giving the public any access to the information that got him banned.
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Registered Member
Its not fair. They dont have any proof except people saying he was doping and thats not proof.
@ Bjarki. the USADA is not the Holy Mother of Jesus. They are people and people can make mistakes and I think what they did is a mistake cuz they did it without any proof. Thats why people dont want capital punishment cuz even courts make mistakes.

His titles still count imo. If they find REAL proof that he was doping then maybe i will change that up but not until they do.


Registered Member
VN: There was reportedly a lot of evidence in the case, there was witness testimony and presumably more…do you expect any of those details to emerge?

TT: Yes, absolutely…at the right time. Obviously there are other cases that are alleged to be involved in the conspiracy. Their cases are still proceeding, so it will be in due course.

VN: So there is no impediment to USADA releasing the evidence?

TT: No, no.
Travis Tygart Interview: Armstrong?s results from August 1st 1998 will be stripped
Proof will surface in a short amount of time I reckon. I suppose the other cases are against the 4 riders I mentioned earlier, against Bruyneel and other staff members, and possibly even more athletes and 'soigneurs'.

Just because they can't/won't publish evidence at this point of time doesn't mean there isn't any.

Also check: Michael Ashenden | NY Velocity - New York bike racing culture, news and events on Lance's positive tests in 1999.

And for an insight into the EPO culture: (a fragment from an interview with Vaughters @ Interview Transcript: Jonathan Vaughters Talks More About His Doping | Bicycling Magazine )

When do you recall first coming into contact with or consciously realizing that there was this unintentional or accidental conspiracy?
Well, I guess the story of it is kind of funny. I turned pro in 1994 and got my ass kicked over and over again. During that year I began to learn doping was going on. There were some stories told.

Did you know what EPO was at that time?
By the end of the year I did. At the start, not really. So in 1995 it was much more apparent. I was in the Spanish pro peloton and they were talking about it. I remember one Spanish rider, I can’t remember his name, who used to stand up and flex his muscles and say, ‘Am I really this strong? Or did the chemicals make me this way?’ And so it was being openly joked about. And we were a team that was funded in a roundabout way by Opus Dei, which is an arm of the Catholic Church. Our head director, Jose Luis Nunez, went to church like four times a day. You think I’m joking, but literally four times a day. And his perspective was ‘No, we’re going to work harder than everyone else, and find all the little training methods that no one else has thought of, and look at nutrition,’ and so on. It was the original marginal gains philosophy before Sky! We were doing VO2 max tests every week. The guys on the team—a funnier analogy to Sky—the Russians were Olympic and world champions in team pursuit, individual pursuit, points race, the best in the world at track racing and then with these Spanish guys who’d won tons of amateur races in Spain. So it was a natural group of talented young riders who should have—with all these marginal gains—just popped right in and kicked butt.

And what happened?
What happened is we were the worst team in the Spanish peloton by far.

I recall you told me once your whole team was getting dropped on climbs.
Yeah, in the 1996 Basque Country the director came up and said ‘We’re doing to do a new tactic today.’ And it was like, ‘OK, what’s that going to be?’ And he said, ‘Well because guys have been getting cut off one by one from the pack and missing the time cut or coming very close to it, now, when the first guy is in trouble, the whole team will drop back and do a team time trial at our own speed to catch back up to the grupetto in the waning kilometers of the race.’ And that was the strategy.

That’s a discouraging way to race.
Incredibly. For people who follow VO2 max numbers, when I was getting mine tested during this period at the same lab Miguel Indurain went to, I was testing mid/high 80s. So why was I one of the very first people getting dropped? So anyway, as 1996 progressed, and we got closer to the Vuelta, all of a sudden there was a shift. And all of us riders knew at this point that we were getting our asses kicked because everyone is taking EPO in the peloton. And the management had held the line: ‘No doping.’ We weren’t getting paid enough to buy it on our own and if we had bought it, we didn’t know enough how to use it on our own.

But finally some months before the Vuelta, Nunez comes to me and he said, ‘You know Jonathan, I’ve been thinking about this, and we aren’t going to dope you. But we think that since you’re training so hard, that we want to make sure we keep your red cell count the same it was at the beginning of the year when you came from Colorado fresh.’ And I said ‘OK, sounds good.’ So he said, ‘There’s going to be some medication we’ll use to make sure that happens.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ And I quickly figured out that what he was talking about was EPO. But again, the way he phrased it to me allowed me to justify it. As much as I shouldn’t have, and been intelligent and said, ‘Wait this is bullshit,’ in my mind he had just spelled out to me that I wasn’t going to dope, we’d just make my hematocrit what it would have been had I not been riding my bike so damn much. And we’re never going to use doses high enough to push you where you shouldn’t be, so I shouldn’t worry about health consequences like stroking out. And of course there’s no chance of you testing positive. So it was like ‘Oh, well my blood’s going to be the same thickness as it is normally, so we’re just avoiding anemia right? So this is actually healthy!’ And so there won’t be health consequences and so it won’t be cheating.

Did you consciously realize those rationalizations at the time?
Of course I can look back 16 years later and say, ‘Clearly these were rationalizations.’ If I had sat down and been honest with myself, I was logical enough to realize that. But at that point in time, I was ripe soil. When you’re team-time trialing off the back to make the back end of the grupetto in every race and you hear that message, your mind is fertile for hearing that. When I look back on that I think, ‘Holy Toledo, here’s a guy who founded a team on the principles of clean racing and to make up the difference through marginal gains and hiring the most talented young athletes, unspoiled athletes, and focusing them and that little by little that the sport could be moved and changed.’ Jose Luis Nunez had the same damn dream and the same damn conviction I did. But his timing was incredibly bad. He held out for 30 months of his dream and then he cracked. And the athletes, once he cracked, the dam broke.
It's the other side of the medal. It's like this in many sports. The whole of Spanish sports culture & successes have roots in this doping environment. (and so does much of international sports)

It is even said that the USADA has proof that Armstrong bought off positive tests. Involved in this was the former president of the UCI, Verbruggen, who according to Willy Voet and Jef D'Hont (former team doctors at Festina and Telekom) offered to do the same for various of their positive riders.

I don't agree with taking away his titles though. If they do they might as well annul all results of that time, cause virtually all of the top10 riders during this period have been involved in doping cases or admitted to illegal use later on.
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Registered Member
Drugs are bad. I will watch for that evidence and if anyone was cheating then their titles dont count imo. I didnt know they had evidence they didnt tell people about.


Sultan of Swat
Staff member
USADA is going to be completely crippled when it says "We strip Armstrong" and the UCI says "We don't and still recognize him as the winner"