UK & World News
No Winner For Tour De France Races
The Tour de France races which took place between 1999 and 2005 will have no official winner, cycling's governing body has said.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) decided not to†reallocate the seven yellow jerseys won by Lance Armstrong, after the American was stripped of his titles in the wake of a doping scandal.
It also ordered Armstrong to pay back prize money dating back to August 1, 1998.
He is believed to have earned 2.95m euros†(£2.36m) for his Tour de France victories alone.
The announcement came after the United States Anti-Doping Agency released a damning report that concluded Armstrong had helped orchestrate the most sophisticated doping programme in the history of sport.
The UCI†said it "acknowledged that decisive action was needed in response to the report".†
It justified its decision to leave the 1995-2005 Tours without a winner, saying that "a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period".
"While this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places," it said in a statement.
The UCI also confirmed it will set up an independent external commission to look at criticisms levelled at the organisation over the Armstrong affair.
A report and recommendations from the group is expected to be published by June next year.
Pat McQuaid, president of the UCI, said:†"We are†determined to turn around this painful episode in the history of our sport.
"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 Armstrong affair and have taken these additional decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised."