UCI verdict today, Armstrong may get life ban
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The Lance Armstrong doping scandal reaches a decisive day on Monday when cycling's governing body announces whether it has ratified the US Anti-Doping Agency's sanctions but whatever happens the affair is set to run and run.
International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid will hold a news conference at 1100 GMT on Monday at which he is widely expected to confirm that Armstrong, 41, is banned for life and loses his record seven Tour de France titles. Last month, McQuaid said the UCI had no reason to appeal against the USADA decision.
The USADA report, released last week, is a 1,000 page document which shows, the Agency says, that Armstrong took part in a doping scheme on his way to his success on the Tour from 1999-2005. It also accuses Armstrong, as head of the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team, of running the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.
If the UCI rules that USADA has failed to make a case, the sport's governing body will take the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).
Should Armstrong lose his Tour titles, race director Christian Prudhomme has already said he does not want them handed to anyone else given that the era was tainted by doping. The UCI, however, is in an uncomfortable position because the USADA report said Armstrong told his then team mates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton he made a positive drugs test at the Tour of Switzerland go away with a payment to the UCI in 2001.
McQuaid has said Armstrong made a $100,000 donation to the UCI in 2002 but vehemently denied, according to the report, that it was part of a covering up of a positive test. Armstrong mentor Johan Bruyneel's case, however, will not be resolved on Monday because the Belgian has chosen to fight the charges in front of an arbitration panel later this year.
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