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“The UCI recognizes that USADA is reported as saying that it will strip Mr. Armstrong of all results from 1998 onwards in addition to imposing a lifetime ban from participating in any sport which recognizes the World Anti-Doping Code,” the Switzerland-based organization said in a statement.
“As USADA has claimed jurisdiction in the case the UCI expects that it will issue a reasoned decision” explaining the action taken, the UCI said, adding that legal procedures obliged USADA to fulfill this demand in cases “where no hearing occurs.”
Armstrong has chosen not to pursue an arbitration hearing where he could have fought charges brought by U.S. anti-doping officials that his teams doped when he won the Tour from 1999-2005.
Armstrong disputes that USADA has power to re-write cycling results, and uncertainty remains over what role the ASO sports promotion company which organizes the Tour de France will have in the process.
Armstrong insisted his decision to decline arbitration was not an admission of guilt, but a refusal to enter a process he believes is unfair.
“Lance has never withdrawn from a fair fight in his life so his decision today underlines what an unjust process this has been,” Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s longtime coach, wrote on his personal website on Friday.
In Huesca, Spain, Alberto Contador declined to comment on the possibility of Armstrong being stripped of his Tour de France titles, and instead paid tribute to his former teammate’s skill on the bike.
“I’m not up to date on the case. Whenever I’m competing at a major race I try to keep these things to the margin and stay completely focused on the race,” Contador said Friday before the start of the seventh stage of the Spanish Vuelta. “I don’t know if it’s over or not. The truth is I’m not thinking about it.”
Contador and Armstrong were bitter teammates during the seven-time Tour champion’s return to cycling after a three-year hiatus, with Contador eventually emerging as the team No. 1 on his way to winning the Tour that season. Armstrong, who came third, moved to Radioshack the next season.
Still, the Spanish cyclist, who was stripped of his 2010 Tour victory because of drug charges, was polite in describing the 40-year-old Armstrong’s abilities on the bike after having once described their relationship as “zero.”