Tuesday, October 23, 2012
Lance Armstrong reacts to Tour de France debacle by changing Twitter profile
He's no longer a "7-time Tour de France winner" on Twitter.
Having won seven Tour de France titles is no longer part of Lance Armstrong's Twitter profile.
As late as Monday night, Armstrong's bio on the social media site included a mention of his seven Tour wins from 1999-2005, but reference to the race was removed hours after he was stripped of the titles by the International Cycling Union and banned from the sport for life for his involvement in what the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency described as a massive doping program.
Early Tuesday, Armstrong's profile said: "Raising my five kids. Fighting Cancer. Swim, bike, run and golf whenever I can." Previously, the profile said: "Father of 5 amazing kids, 7-time Tour de France winner, full time cancer fighter, part time triathlete."
The Twitter change was the only immediate reaction from Armstrong to the UCI's decision to take away his titles.
Armstrong has been a prolific user of Twitter and has nearly 3,800,000 followers on his page. His most recent tweet was on October 17 when he announced he would stand down as chairman of the Livestrong cancer-awareness charity he founded.
Armstrong has steadfastly denied doping, but chose not to fight USADA in one of the agency's arbitration hearings, arguing the process was rigged against him.
On Monday, the UCI emphatically threw its support behind USADA, ending a saga that brought down the most decorated rider in Tour history and exposed widespread cheating in professional cycling.
"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling, and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," UCI President Pat McQuaid said. "Make no mistake, it's a catastrophe for him, and he has to face up to that."
Tour de France organizers said they will not give Armstrong's former titles to other riders, leaving a seven-year gap on the honor roll of the sport's biggest event during an era the USADA report showed was rife with doping.
The Associated Press also reports that a Texas insurance company is taking legal action to recover $7.5 million in bonuses from cyclist Lance Armstrong.
SCA Promotions paid a performance bonus paid to the American after he won his sixth Tour de France in 2004.
SCA lawyer Jeffrey M Tillotson told BBC Sport: "We will make a formal demand for return of funds."
"If this is not successful, we will initiate formal legal proceedings against Mr. Armstrong in five business days (Monday 29 October)."
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) meanwhile welcomed the UCI decision to ratify the sanctions taken earlier this month against Armstrong by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).