GENEVA - Cycling's governing body agreed Monday to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life, following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.
Speaking from Geneva, International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid confirmed to a news conference that UCI had decided to uphold USADA'S decision to strip Armstrong of his Tour titles.
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," McQuaid said.
Armstrong won consecutive Tours from 1999 to 2005. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said earlier the Tour will have no official winners for the seven races Armstrong won if he is stripped of his victories by the UCI.
Local cyclists had mixed emotions about Monday's developments. Some said it's a sad day in cycling, and they wished Armstrong would say something regarding the charges.
"It's sad for the entire cycling community and public in general," said John Helffrich, president of the Lehigh Wheelmen Association. "He's been such a hero to so many people."
While his group is not full of racers, Helffrich said many looked up to Armstrong.
"It hurts. I mean, it's certainly not helpful to the community," added Helffrich.
The latest decision is a string of defeats for Armstrong. No titles, no endorsements, and he has stepped down as the head of the non-profit he founded, Livestrong.
Some wondered when Armstrong will address the doping allegations.
"If he was really being honest and above board, I think it would be nice if he came, and say everybody did this and now we are going to move forward," said Susan Moser, of Macungie, Lehigh Co.
"I'd like to see him admit it and come clean," added Helffrich. "But boy, I guess it's anybody's guess at what's going to happen."
Many said they don't think it will stop younger cyclists from racing.
The UCI based its decision on the findings from the U.S. Anti-doping Agency last month.
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