Lance Armstrong erased from the record books

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October 22, 2012, 6:50 pm
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(NECN/NBC News: Jay Gray) - For decades, he has been the standard bearer in the sport of cycling with a legacy of overcoming the most difficult conditions to win the Tour de France a record 7-times.

But, those victories were taken away Monday with his name officially erased from the record books.

It’s the latest in the fall of Lance Armstrong.

He became a legend, by conquering the rugged mountains and long, winding path of the world's most grueling bike race, but now it seems Lance Armstrong faces an even tougher road.

“Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling,” said Pat McQuaid with the International Cycling Union.

Monday, the International Cycling Union officially removed Armstrong from the sport he once ruled and the record books.

“UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles,” said McQuaid.

The world's governing body of cycling will also demand that Armstrong return his medals and millions of dollars in prize money from those wins. Exactly how much will be determined later this week.

It's the latest fallout from a U.S. anti-doping agency report released earlier this month that outlined "overwhelming" evidence Armstrong was the king-pin in a "sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program"

Longtime sponsors including Nike, Oakley, Trek, Radio Shack and Anheuser-Busch have all ended their relationships with Armstrong.

And last week, citing the controversy, the cancer-survivor stepped down as the chair of his wildly successful Livestrong foundation. He spoke at the charity's fundraising gala this weekend in Austin.

“It's been a difficult couple of weeks for me, for my family, for my friends, for this foundation. I get asked a lot, ‘man, how are you doing?’ And I say this every time... And I mean it, ‘I've been better, but I've also been worse.’"

Armstrong has steadfastly denied using performance enhancing drugs and says he will continue to work closely with his cancer foundation.

Tags: Tour de France, Lance Armstrong, ICU, Jay Gray, doping, NBC News, Livestrong, international cycling union
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