Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling by the United States Anti-Doping Agency on this day 10 years ago.
The USADA released a statement confirming the sanctions after Armstrong, who claimed 22 stage wins during his Tour career, had chosen not to contest doping charges.
Despite this, he released a statement insisting the process had been “one-sided and unfair”.
In the statement he said: “If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA’s process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and – once and for all – put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance.
“But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what (USADA chief executive) Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims.
“The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colours. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided.
“What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?”
Armstrong later admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs during his career in a television interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.
Armstrong had won every edition of the Tour from 1999 to 2005.