Armstrong Stripped of Tour Titles

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), cycling’s world governing body, announced it is not going to contest USADA’s punitive actions against Lance Armstrong. The UCI could have appealed the USADA ruling to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), the court of last resort in cases under the federation umbrella.

The UCI is itself embattled, because of the oft-repeated charge that it was itself complicit in the covering up of Armstrong’s doping, and had accepted bribes to keep the doping a secret.

The owners of the Tour de France, Amaury Sport Organization (ASO), has acceded to USADA’s request that Armstrong be stripped of his 7 Tour de France titles. It has indicated the titles will remain vacant, as there is no pathway to declaring new victors that would easily clear scrutiny. The plethora of doping convictions and allegations that surround so many of the top-10 finishers during the Armstrong era make declaring a new victor a practical difficulty.

Oakley has become the latest sponsor to distance itself from Armstrong, steering the same course as have other sponsors. “Oakley has severed its longstanding relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately,” it said, adding that Livestrong Foundation, “has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals.”

SCA Promotions, a Dallas-based insurance company, has sent a demand letter asking Armstrong to return $7.5 million ($5 million plus interest and Armstrong’s legal costs) he earned as a result of winning the unprecedented number of titles, the BBC reported. However, that might be hard, since the sides have tangled in the past, resulting in a voluntary settlement between the parties. Whether there is a legal pathway to unwind the settlement is unknown, even in light of Armstrong’s failure to prevail in every legal or quasi-legal venue so far.

That’s so far this week for the Armstrong camp, and it’s still Monday morning. The IOC may look at Armstrong’s bronze medal he won in Sydney, in 2000, in the TT.