Armstrong Asked to Return Tour Prize Money

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(CNN) — Lance Armstrong has been asked to return all prize money from his seven annulled Tour de France victories by the sport’s governing body, who confirmed the history books will show no winner of the famous race between 1999-2005.

The disgraced American operated “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen,” according to the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

At a meeting at their Swiss headquarters, the International Cycling Union (UCI) also announced an independent commission would examine its handling of the Armstrong case.

The 41-year-old is still to comment on claims he consistently used performance enhancing drugs throughout his career, though he has decided not to contest the case.

Now the UCI is determined to pursue him for the riches he received as a result of his seven straight victories in cycling’s most prestigious race, while confirming the record books will be left blank.

A statement on the UCI’s official website read: “With respect to Lance Armstrong and the implications of the USADA sanctions which it endorsed on Monday 22 October, the Management Committee decided not to award victories to any other rider or upgrade other placings in any of the affected events.

“The committee decided to apply this ruling from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation.

“The International Cycling Union (UCI) has asked Lance Armstrong to return all the prize money he won from his seven Tour de France victories, that have been struck off due to allegations of doping.”

“The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period — but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honor to be gained in reallocating places.”

More to follow….

*For additional coverage on Lance Armstrong, click HERE.