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."
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.