Tour de France director: 1999-2005 races should have no winner if UCI strips Armstrong

Greg Keller, The Associated Press

PARIS - The Tour de France will have no official winner if Lance Armstrong is stripped by the UCI of his victories from 1999-2005.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme told The Associated Press on Friday that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency's report on Armstrong is "damning" and called into question "a system and an era."

Prudhomme said a final decision still was contingent on cycling's international governing body. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said it was "too early to say" what will happen.

"We have a deadline of Oct. 31 to respond (to the USADA report)," Carpani said.

A decision not to reattribute Armstrong's victories would leave a gaping seven-year black hole in Tour de France record books. It would also mark a shift in how Tour organizers treated similar cases in the past.

When Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour victory for a doping violation, organizers held a ceremony to award the race winner's yellow jersey to Luxembourg's Andy Schleck. In 2006, Oscar Pereiro was awarded the victory and a place in the record books after the doping disqualification of American rider Floyd Landis.

Prudhomme refused to talk about the discrepancy in treatment.