Lance Armstrong Officially Stripped of Seven Tour de France Titles

  • Tweet

Lance Armstrong was officially stripped of his seven Tour de France victories on Monday, October 22, 2012. The world governing body for the sport of cycling scheduled a press conference on this date and announced it had accepted the conclusions of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Armstrong was banned for life from sports competition by USADA in September 2012. The ban was based on collected evidence that the former professional cyclist used erythropoietin (EPO), anabolic steroids and blood transfusions throughout his career. USADA voided all seven of his Tour de France victories. However, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) is technically the only organization who has the power to take away Tour de France titles.

The UCI consequently requested information from USADA. USADA sent the UCI their 202-page “Reasoned Decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency on the Disqualification and Ineligibility [of Lance Armstrong]“ accompanied by over 1,000 pages of supporting documentation. After a review of the materials, most felt that the UCI had little choice but to accept the conclusions of the voluminous and explicit report detailing organized EPO and steroid use by the USPS pro cycling team.

UCI Chief Pat McQuaid made the announcement during the highly anticipated press conference.

“The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling… and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,” said McQuaid.

The UCI announcement set the stage for Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour de France, to decide who should be declared the new winners of the 1999 to 2005 Tour de France races. Prudhomme thought the best move would be to leave the winner unassigned.

“There won’t be a winner. The formal decision will be taken by the UCI on Friday but for us, it’s very clear; we want to leave the palmares blank,” Prudhomme told Reuters.

Also, Prudhomme reminded Armstrong that the privately-owned Tour de France would want its prize money back.

“The UCI rules are clear,” Prudhomme said. “When a rider loses the result where a prize is award, they have to give it back.”

The total prize money earned by Armstrong from his seven Tour victories is 2.95 million euros. This converts to almost $4 million.
The financial costs to Armstrong have been severe.

Nine of out ten of Armstrong’s sponsors, including Nike and Trek, had dropped him in the days prior to the UCI press conference. The last remaining sponsor, Oakley, waited until the UCI officially stripped Armstrong of his Tour titles before they dropped him.

The lost sponsorship revenue from Armstrong’s former sponsors over the next few years was estimated to have been close to $30 million.

SCA Promotions, the company that paid out some $7.5 million in bonuses to Armstrong, could seek to recover up to $12 million in light of the new evidence of doping.

Lance Armstrong’s net worth, which was estimated to be approximately $125 million, has taken a severe beating in the latest week.

Lance Armstrong - 2010 Tour de France

Lance Armstrong - 2010 Tour de Franc. Photo credit: Millard Baker


Levs, J. (October 22, 2012). Lance Armstrong’s epic downfall. Retrieved from http://edition.cnn.com/2012/10/22/sport/lance-armstrong-controversy/index.html