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Christian Prudhomme urges UCI not to reassign titles should it ratify USADA decision

Tour de France boss Christian Prudhomme has said that the winner’s name of the Tour de France should be left blank for each of the seven editions of the race won by Lance Armstrong, assuming the UCI ratifies the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to ban the former cyclist for life and strip him of all results dating back to 1998.

"What we would like is for there to be no winner in those years," said Prudhomme, quoted in the Guardian.

The proposal is at odds with what happened in the cases of the two men previously stripped of an overall victory in cycling’s biggest race.

Floyd Landis’s 2006 win went to runner-up Oscar Pereiro, while earlier this year Andy Schleck was awarded the 2010 title after Alberto Contador was banned for failing a doping control during that edition.

"We cannot be indifferent to what USADA has uncovered,” explained Prudhomme.

“It is a dark and deeply disturbing picture. It has called into question a system and an entire era which remains stained for ever. It is a lost decade."

The power to formally strip Armstrong of the seven titles he won between 1999 and 2005 does not lie with ASO itself, however.

"As astonishing as it may seem, the Tour de France is not the master of its record books. That goes through the UCI rather than the race organisers," commented Prudhomme.

The UCI has a little under three weeks either to ratify USADA’s sanctions, or appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

That may not happen until after the full route of next year’s race has been formally unveiled in Paris a week on Wednesday, but former journalist Prudhomme is confident about the sport’s future.

"The problems which occurred in the Armstrong years meant that progress has already happened. Cycling today bears no resemblance to yesterday's cycling.

"The anti-doping fight of recent years was based on those problems and there has been considerable progress in recent years: cycling has been a pioneer in areas such as targeted testing and the biological passport.

“Today, the cheats are caught, and caught more rapidly than before. We have to continue in this direction. There is no other way."

The wish by ASO not to reassign the titles reflects the fact that in each of those seven victories, Armstrong shared the podium with men who almost without exception have also either been sanctioned for doping or come under suspicion at various times.

"Our challenge is to regain credibility," Prudhomme conceded.
 

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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Some Fella [890 posts] 3 years ago
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Ive said it before and i'll say it again - does that mean Wiggins gets second in the 2009 Tour de France? (Im giving Schleck the benefit of the doubt for now)

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_SiD_ [160 posts] 3 years ago
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Can we also remove the winners's name from the 1996 TDF and banish him as well?
I'd be quite happy about that!

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NeilG83 [283 posts] 3 years ago
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Some Fella wrote:

Ive said it before and i'll say it again - does that mean Wiggins gets second in the 2009 Tour de France? (Im giving Schleck the benefit of the doubt for now)

Contador has not been found guilty of anything in 2009.
Yet.
I wouldn't be suprised if he was stripped of 2007 Tour de France after reading Leipheimer's affidavit in which states he doped with a team mate at that years race.
As for 2009, Astana's dominance was amazing. 3 riders in the top 6 even after Leipheimer crashed out whilst in 4th place and they won the team classification by more than 22 minutes. However, I don't know of any evidence that anyone on the team other than Armstrong was doping. According to Leipheimer he stopped doping in 2007.

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AWP [101 posts] 3 years ago
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_SiD_ wrote:

Can we also remove the winners's name from the 1996 TDF and banish him as well?
I'd be quite happy about that!

So who could be classified as winner in 1996? From what I've read about it virtually the whole peloton have been implicated in one way or another.

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_SiD_ [160 posts] 3 years ago
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AWP wrote:
_SiD_ wrote:

Can we also remove the winners's name from the 1996 TDF and banish him as well?
I'd be quite happy about that!

So who could be classified as winner in 1996? From what I've read about it virtually the whole peloton have been implicated in one way or another.

It would probably have to go to LeLond back in 1989?

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_SiD_ [160 posts] 3 years ago
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I'd be happy if LeMond were given all Armstrongs titles too!

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PaulVWatts [111 posts] 3 years ago
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How about giving the titles to honorary winners? I suggest Emma O'Reilly and Betty Andreu for starters

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Karbon Kev [688 posts] 3 years ago
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i totally agree with this idea, just blank

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russyparkin [570 posts] 3 years ago
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no. i already claimed the 1999 tdf. its mine baby!

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The Rumpo Kid [589 posts] 3 years ago
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Honorary winners is a nice idea. I'd suggest Robert Marchand. Or me. I'm easy.

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mckechan [208 posts] 3 years ago
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I had the same exact same thought, so I'm all the more pleased that he won it this year.

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stumps [3186 posts] 3 years ago
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Why not leave it as it is ?

Everyone now knows the truth, even if 20% is true and the rest is bull, its still damning. So why bother putting other people forward as they might have cheated as well but we dont know.

Can i just throw this in though - if Lance came second / third would we have all this hoohah ? possibly not, so because he won does it become a witch hunt ?.

Personally i think he's as guilty as sin.

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Seoige [104 posts] 3 years ago
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I think a solution that the Director of the Tour de France(Christian Prudhomme) should consider is; the winnings that LA earned from his vacated titles circa $7 mill. should be returned to the committee and distributed amongst youth cycle groups by way of new bike equipment vouchers as a worthwhile cause. In that way the titles can go to say the Tour de France Youth Cycling Foundation. It fills in the blank places in the register and promotes the sports and Tour in a positive charitable light.  39

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Sudor [184 posts] 3 years ago
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I think ASO should grant honorary wins of each of larry the Liars TdF "Victories"(sic) to to the likes of Christophe Bassons and other clean riders who were victimised by the king of the Cowards.