Tour de France boss wants winner's name in Armstrong years left blank

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

by Simon_MacMichael   October 12, 2012  

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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.
 

14 user comments

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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)

posted by Some Fella [808 posts]
12th October 2012 - 18:03

4 Likes

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

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
12th October 2012 - 18:51

5 Likes

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.

posted by NeilG83 [256 posts]
12th October 2012 - 19:04

8 Likes

_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.

posted by AWP [84 posts]
12th October 2012 - 19:16

5 Likes

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?

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
12th October 2012 - 19:44

6 Likes

I'd be happy if LeMond were given all Armstrongs titles too!

_SiD_'s picture

posted by _SiD_ [179 posts]
12th October 2012 - 19:54

10 Likes

How about giving the titles to honorary winners? I suggest Emma O'Reilly and Betty Andreu for starters

Paul W

posted by PaulVWatts [111 posts]
12th October 2012 - 20:31

6 Likes

i totally agree with this idea, just blank

posted by Karbon Kev [682 posts]
13th October 2012 - 7:33

6 Likes

no. i already claimed the 1999 tdf. its mine baby!

posted by russyparkin [579 posts]
13th October 2012 - 8:11

8 Likes

Honorary winners is a nice idea. I'd suggest Robert Marchand. Or me. I'm easy.

posted by The Rumpo Kid [590 posts]
13th October 2012 - 9:46

9 Likes

I had the same exact same thought, so I'm all the more pleased that he won it this year.

Dedicated cycling price comparison | http://www.leadoutbikes.com

posted by mckechan [195 posts]
13th October 2012 - 17:17

4 Likes

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.

There are no stupid questions, just stupid people.

stumps's picture

posted by stumps [2821 posts]
13th October 2012 - 20:45

13 Likes

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. Thinking

posted by Seoige [104 posts]
15th October 2012 - 20:23

8 Likes

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.

Sudor

posted by Sudor [183 posts]
16th October 2012 - 10:12

4 Likes