Tour would vacate titles if UCI strips Armstrong wire reports

The Tour de France will have no official winners for the seven races from 1999-2005 if Lance Armstrong is stripped of his victories by the UCI for doping.

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 seven-year 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.

In an interview with the AP last month, UCI President Pat McQuaid said he also would prefer to leave those years blank.

"The podium of those tours, second and third, by and large a lot of them either have been convicted of doping some way or another, or would be suspected in terms of doping," McQuaid said. "If it's a question that we would declare that era as a black era, then I'm not afraid to do so."

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

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