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Lance Armstrong: UCI Upholds Usada Life Ban
Lance Armstrong has been banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles over his role in "the most sophisticated doping programme sport has ever seen".
The International Cycling Union (UCI) said it would not appeal the decision taken by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada), which had compiled a damning 1,000-page dossier detailing the allegations.
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," UCI president Pat McQuaid told a press conference.
"I was sickened by what I read in the Usada report. I'm sorry that we couldn't catch every damn one of them and throw them out of the sport at the time.
"Cycling has a future. This is not the first time cycling has reached a crossroads or that it has had to begin anew."
The move prompted Oakley to follow Armstrong's other major sponsors in cutting their ties with the 41-year-old.
It issued a statement, saying: "When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility.
"We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest."
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme had said the race would go along with whatever cycling's governing body decided and will have no official winners for the years of Armstrong's consecutive wins, from 1999-2005.
Armstrong had previously chosen not to contest the Usada charges, prompting the agency to propose his punishment pending confirmation from cycling's world governing body.
Former team-mates of Armstrong, at his US Postal and Discovery Channel teams, were given reduced bans by the American authorities after testifying against him.
Armstrong's sporting reputation as the cancer survivor who fought back to win cycling's most gruelling and celebrated race has been shattered since the revelations, leading to sponsors leaving him in droves.
Nike became the most high-profile sponsor to abandon the Texan, saying he had misled the firm for more than a decade and citing "seemingly insurmountable" evidence against him.
The allegations also saw Armstrong step down as chairman of the charity he formed, Livestrong, which raised hundreds of millions of dollars for people affected by cancer.
On the eve of the UCI decision, Armstrong spoke for about 90 seconds to a 4,300 cyclists at the Livestrong Challenge charity benefit, a 100-mile (160km) race in his hometown of Austin, Texas.
"I've been better, but I've also been worse," he said.
"Obviously, it has been an interesting and difficult couple of weeks."
Mr McQuaid succeeded Hein Verbruggen as president of world cycling after Armstrong's seventh and final Tour victory in 2005 and is credited with boosting the body's anti-doping programme - notably with the pioneering blood passport programme.
The Irishman was under pressure to answer how Armstrong and his teams managed to dope for so long without being detected. But he rejected calls to quit.
Former UCI officials have denied claims they helped cover up Armstrong's positive drug tests.
The Usada report said Armstrong was at the heart of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
It stated: "He was not just a part of the doping culture on his team. He enforced and re-enforced it."