UCI gives Lance Armstrong 3 weeks to appeal ban and loss of results
Governing body formally notifies disgraced cyclist of sanctions, IOC prepares to ask for return of bronze medal from Sydney
The UCI has formally notified Lance Armstrong that he has been stripped off results dating back to 1 August 1998 including the seven Tour de France titles he won between 1999 and 2005.
World cycling's governing body last month ratified the sanction proposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), which also banned him from sport for life. Subsequently, the World Anti-Doping Agency confirmed that it would not be exercising its right of appeal.
According to Reuters, quoting UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani, the former US Postal, Astana and RadioShack rider has three weeks from the date of notification – last Thursday, 6 December – to lodge an appeal against the decision.
However, to say that’s extremely unlikely would be a supreme understatement, given Armstrong’s decision not to take USADA to arbitration back in August ahead of the agency announcing its sanctions against him.
Even once that deadline for appeal expires, the saga won’t quite be over, however. The International Olympic Committee is then likely to take steps to formally strip him of the bronze medal he won in the time trial at Sydney in 2000.
Last week, IOC president Jacques Rogges said: "The IOC today will not move because we need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified and declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal.
"When he will be notified Mr Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal. It is only after that period that the IOC can legally take action."