Lance Armstrong has received a lifetime ban from the US Anti-Doping Agency, backdated to August 1 1998.
The action means results he obtained from that date are nullified, costing him his seven Tour de France victories.
Armstrong had insisted that USADA had no jurisdiction in events sanctioned by cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, and tested his assertion in court.
But the judge dismissed the Texan’s case, allowing USADA to proceed after Armstrong declined to exercise his right to a public arbitration hearing by failing to respond to the agency by yesterday’s deadline.
In a statement issued today, USADA said: “Numerous witnesses provided evidence to USADA based on personal knowledge acquired, either through direct observation of doping activity by Armstrong, or through Armstrong’s admissions of doping to them that Armstrong used EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from before 1998 through 2005, and that he had previously used EPO, testosterone and hGH through 1996.
“Witnesses also provided evidence that Lance Armstrong gave to them, encouraged them to use and administered doping products or methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2005.
“Additionally, scientific data showed Mr. Armstrong’s use of blood manipulation including EPO or blood transfusions during Mr. Armstrong’s comeback to cycling in the 2009 Tour de France.”
Armstrong has consistently and vehemently denied doping, citing his record of never having tested positive during a career in which he said he was tested 500 times in and out of competition.
He said USADA had “zero physical evidence” against him, and accused Tygart of conducting a “witch hunt” against him.
“If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance,” Armstrong said in a statement issued yesterday.
“But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair.”
The CEO of USADA, Travis T Tygart, said: “Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf, to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition.
“Any time we have overwhelming proof of doping, our mandate is to initiate the case through the process and see it to conclusion as was done in this case.”