Racing News

Lance Armstrong years to be left blank

The years 1999 to 2005 will be left blank in the Tour de France history books after the UCI decided not to award Lance Armstrong’s seven ‘victories’ to any other rider.

The decision was announced following a UCI management committee meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, which was called in the wake of the Armstrong scandal.

The UCI has also called on all riders implicated in the scandal to pay back prize money, while cycling’s world governing body will establish an independent external commission to “look into the various allegations made against the UCI relating to the Armstrong affair”.

The UCI has been accused of accepting a $100,000 donation from Armstrong as part of a cover-up for an alleged positive test from the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

The make-up of the independent commission will be announced in the week commencing November 5, with its report and recommendations to be published no later than June 1 2013.

The UCI has also suspended legal action against Irish journalist Paul Kimmage pending the outcome of the report. Kimmage had accused UCI president Pat McQuaid and honorary president Hein Verbruggen of corruption.

McQuaid said: “The UCI is 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 1999-2005. Riders are now subject to the most innovative and effective anti-doping procedures in sport.

“Nonetheless, we have listened to the world’s reaction to the Lance Armstrong affair and have taken these decisive steps in response to the grave concerns raised.”

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