"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling,"
With those words, the International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid formally distanced his organisation from Lance Armstrong. And that wasn't all, as the Herald reports:
McQuaid announced that his group, known as UCI, accepted sanctions imposed by the US Anti-Doping Agency and would not appeal them to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
McQuaid said he was "sickened" by some of the evidence detailed by USADA in its 200-page report and hundreds of pages of supporting testimony and documents.
UCI's outrage now is all very well, but there is some strong evidence that UCI facilitated Armstrong's career of cheating. He was found to have tested positive after a race in 2001, but the result was swept under the carpet. The UCI now expects us to believe that a donation of US$100,000 to them from Armstrong the following year is unconnected.
UCI now recommends that the Tour de France titles vacated by Armstrong will not be reallocated. This surely is the most telling evidence that doping and drug abuse was rife in the sport during the Armstrong Years, and that the chances of finding a "clean" competitor to reward are small.
Lance Armstrong's fall from grace is now complete. But rather than him being forgotten as the UCI would wish. Armstrong should be remembered for all the denials, and ultimately the overwhelming evidence that the denials were hollow, and that he was a drugs cheat throughout his professional career in a sport in which cheating was endemic.