The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from sanctioned sports for life, but it is unclear whether the international cycling community will recognize USADA's actions.
AUSTIN, Texas — The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles Friday and banned him from sanctioned sports for life, but it is unclear whether the international cycling community will recognize USADA’s actions.
After USADA’s announcement, it seemed agencies in the United States and Europe were undecided over who had the authority to punish Armstrong, 40.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) asked USADA for its evidence, which it has yet to reveal, while Tour officials declared they were monitoring the situation.
Armstrong’s legal team was considering whether to appeal a ruling made earlier this week by U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, who said he didn’t have the jurisdiction to issue a permanent injunction against USADA.
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Armstrong’s two main endorsers — Anheuser-Busch and Nike — stood by the Texan on Friday while his Austin-based foundation received 400 donations totaling $75,000, said Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Rae Bazzarre. That is an increase of more than 770 percent from the day before.
Austin Mayor Lee Leffingwell issued a statement saying, “I’ll ride bikes with Lance Armstrong any day.”
Armstrong plans to compete in two Aspen, Colo., events this weekend — a mountain-bike race Saturday and a marathon Sunday, events that don’t fall under USADA’s umbrella.
Armstrong, who retired from top-level cycling a year ago, announced Thursday he would not go through arbitration to fight USADA’s charges, declaring he would always be the true winner of the Tours from 1999 to 2005. USADA acknowledged it took Armstrong’s decision as an admission of guilt.
In another case involving a U.S. cyclist, Floyd Landis agreed to repay 1,765 donors $478.354 he raised to challenge doping allegations in an agreement with federal prosecutors that might spare him criminal charges of lying to supporters about his drug use.