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A pensive Lance Armstrong
Recommends Tour titles not be reassigned
The French Cycling Federation (FFC) released a statement today in which they "praised the perseverance of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)", in reference to USADA's decision last week to permanently ban Lance Armstrong and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.
USADA issued the ban, dating to August 1, 1998, after Armstrong decided last week not to contest the agency's charges related to doping practices from his time at the US Postal Service Cycling Team.
"The refusal of Lance Armstrong to challenge the accusation of USADA sounds like an admission of his guilt in respect to the offences to anti-doping regulations brought against him since 1998," said the FFC. "This decision closes a 'black book' on a sombre period for international cycling. It also demonstrates that the greatest athletes are not protected."
The FFC also made a recommendation of what should happen to Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles, as well as the prize money he received for those victories.
"The FCC wants the vacant positions of Lance Armstrong not to be reassigned, leaving blank the palmares of the Tour de France for seven years and thus avoiding all polemics as to the credibility of eventual winners.
"The FCC wants reimbursement of Lance Armstrong's prizes obtained during the Tour de France and other competitions for an amount assessed at 2.95 million Euros for the development of cycling among the youth and the prevention of doping."