The International Cycling Union has upheld the lifetime ban given to Lance Armstrong by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency and has agreed to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France championships. The head of the UCI, Patrick McQuaid, said at a press conference today that, "Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling" and "deserves to be forgotten."
The USADA released a final report on their investigation of Armstrong earlier this month, accusing him of running "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." Their findings were based on eyewitness testimony from 26 people including 11 of his former teammates who all admitted to being a part of the doping program and fingering Armstrong as the ring leader. The USADA recommended that Armstrong be banned for life and stripped of his titles. Today's ruling affirms that decision for all international races, though Armstrong had previously announced that he would no longer challenge the accusations made against him through legal channels.
Armstrong continues to insist that he never broke the rules and that he has never failed a random drug test, though there have been some accusations that he did fail some drug tests and worked to cover them up. No decision has been made about whether to award his titles to another rider, but the UCI will hold another meeting on Friday to discuss that and other issues related to the banning, such as seeking the return of prize money.