The world governing body of cycling, Union Cycliste Internationale, has been confronting the worst-possible scenario of potentially having to award the Tour de France titles that are set to be erased after the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA) acted against Lance Armstrong, the winner of seven Tour de France titles. Armstrong received a lifetime ban by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and was stripped of his record seven Tour de France wins.

The governing body has questioned the right of the USADA to strip Armstrong in the past. The process is not easy as runner-ups and others when Armstrong his titles were not clean either. Jan Ullrich finished second three times, Swiss rider Alex Zullie was second once, and Ivan Basso of Italy was second once. Ullrich has been banned for a drugs offence and the UCI would now have to get ready to contemplate announcing any of them as retrospective winner. This would also mean that drug cheats including Alexandre Vinokourov, Raimondas Rumsas, and Tyler Hamilton would now receive the laurels that again expose the game of cycling to ridicule. The woes of UCI do not end here. It would also be expected to provide an answer to whether it has done enough for scrutinizing Lance Armstrong during his career.

After Armstrong was stripped of his Tour De France titles when he refused to clear himself of doping charges, John-Lee Augustyn (a former Team Sky friend of Armstrong), said cycling would go into a steep decline with the fall of Lance. Augustyn added that the suspension of Armstrong would even mean sponsors would shy away from cycling and this is surely not good news for cyclists and the game.

Nightline from ABC News : Lance Armstrong Accepts Lifetime Ban from Cycling – Video

Armstrong was accused by many of his former teammates, including Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis of making use of performance enhancing drugs and even encouraging others to dope. In his about-to-be released book, “The Secret Race. Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France, Doping, Cover-ups and Winning at All Costs“, Hamilton has remarked that doping was like gravity or oxygen for Lance and said doping during the reign of the cyclist was a mandatory practice for any one who wanted to compete at the elite level. He went on to say that Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel, the director of the US Postal Service cycling team, teamed up with the doctors to set up a sophisticated blood doping program. Hamilton also admitted that he started doping with testosterone in 1997 and continued till he tested positive in 2004.

Landis, on the other hand, has joined hands with the USADA to prove that Armstrong doped during his illustrious career. In 2010, he wrote an email to USA Cycling chief Steve Johnson alleging he participated with Lance in a complex doping program when they were teammates. Floyd Landis was recently ordered to pay $478,000 in restitution for defrauding donors with a legal defense fund that he established in 2006 to retain his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for testosterone. His case would be dismissed if he repays the $478,354 to 1,765 donors within three years.

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