It's Official: Armstrong Stripped of Tour de France Titles (Updated)
This morning the governing body of cycling—the International Cycling Union (UCI)—agreed to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) banned Armstrong from sanctioned competition for life and moved to take away his titles but it was up to the UCI to make the final call.
The Associated Press reports that Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, has previously stated that the Tour will recognize any decision on Armstrong by the UCI. Prudhomme stated that should the UCI decide to strip Armstrong of his titles, the Tour's record books will show no winner from 1999-2005.
Last week, Armstrong stepped down as chairman of Livestrong—the Austin-based cancer support organization he founded as a cancer survivor himself. That same day, Nike announced it was dropping its sponsorship of Armstrong but not Livestrong.
Two weeks ago, USADA revealed the details of Armstrong's alleged doping in a report—202-pages of which was made public.
Armstrong has continued to deny that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Update: 8:25 a.m.:
Sponsors continue to dump Armstrong in the wake of his ban from sport and the removal of his titles. Sunglasses giant Oakley announced it is relinquishing its sponsorship agreement with Armstrong. Like Nike, Oakley will continue to support Livestrong.
The company released this statement this morning:
Based on UCI’s decision today and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its longstanding relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.
When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest.
We believe the LIVESTRONG Foundation has been a positive force in the lives of many affected by cancer and, at this time, Oakley will continue to support its noble goals.