The UCI has ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to ban Lance Armstrong from sport for life and strip him of results dating back to 1998, including his seven Tour de France titles. The UCI could have appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport over USADA’s 1000-page "reasoned decision." Previously UCI has claimed USADA had no jurisdiction over such decisions.
At a packed press conference held in a hotel in the UCI’s home town of Aigle, Switzerland, McQuaid said Armstrong was a "cheat" and "he has no place in cycling."
Still with his place in cycling is Pat McQuaid: he said he would not be resigning as the UCI chief, despite a worldwide clamour for his departure.
The Lance Armstrong doping scandal is "the biggest crisis cycling has ever faced," said McQuaid.
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling. Lance Armstrong deserves to be forgotten in cycling," said the Irishman, who has been UCI president for seven years.
"We can only go on the system that is in place at the time. We always did more testing than any other international federation. It’s easy to look back and say you could have done more but you can only work on the system you have in place."
On USADA’s "reasoned decision" case against Armstrong, McQuaid said:
"I was sickened by what I read. The story that he told of how he was coerced into doping was mind-boggling. I find it very difficult to understand that that was happening, but it was."
"This is a crisis, the biggest crisis cycling has ever faced. I like to look at this crisis as an opportunity for our sport and everyone involved in it to realise it is in danger and to work together to go forward.
"I don’t think in any aspect of society there are no cheats, but I do believe doping can be reduced."
When asked whether he would resign McQuaid told the journalists in the press conference that there were no grounds for his departure. He also confirmed the UCI would continue with its defamation case against anti-doping journalist Paul Kimmage. The ‘Paul Kimmage Defence Fund’ has now raised $64,000 to support Kimmage against the UCI.
Following the UCI’s press conference Oakley has confirmed it will be severing its sponsorship of Lance Armstrong. Oakley joins Trek and Nike and other sponsors to have pulled their support.
In a statement Oakley said:
"Based on UCI’s decision today and the overwhelming evidence that USADA presented, Oakley has severed its longstanding relationship with Lance Armstrong, effective immediately.
"When Lance joined our family many years ago, he was a symbol of possibility. We are deeply saddened by the outcome, but look forward with hope to athletes and teams of the future who will rekindle that inspiration by racing clean, fair and honest."