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Armstrong has three weeks to appeal UCI sanctions

Lance Armstrong speaks to the crowd prior to a run with his fans at Mount Royal park in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi
Lance Armstrong speaks to the crowd prior to a run with his fans at Mount Royal park in Montreal August 29, 2012. REUTERS/Christinne Muschi

PARIS (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong has been notified by the UCI that he has been stripped of all the titles he won after July 1998 and the American has three weeks to appeal, a spokesman for cycling's world governing body said on Monday.

"Lance Armstrong's lawyer was notified on 6th December that all his results since 1st August 1998 were nullified. He has 21 days to appeal (from that date)," the International Cycling Union's Enrico Carpani told Reuters.

The 41-year-old Armstrong had his seven Tour de France victories scratched from the records and was banned from cycling for life in October after the UCI ratified the United States Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) sanctions against him.

USADA published a report that said the now-retired rider had been involved in the "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."

The International Olympic Committee (IOC) said this month it would wait for the UCI to notify Armstrong that his titles were being taken away and give him the right to appeal before stripping him of his 2000 Sydney Olympics bronze medal.

"The IOC today will not move because we need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified and declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal," IOC President Jacques Rogge told reporters on December 5.

"When he will be notified Mr Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal. It is only after that period that the IOC can legally take action."

Armstrong, who won the medal in the individual time trial, has repeatedly denied doping and never tested positive for drugs.

His accusers, however, said Armstrong - one of the world's most famous athletes who is also well known for his cancer-fighting charity work - was not only a willing participant, but the ringleader, ordering team mates to cheat.

In addition to financial payments, emails and laboratory test results that the agency said proved the use of performance- enhancing drugs by Armstrong and the U.S. Postal Service team, 26 people gave sworn testimony, including 11 former team mates.

(Writing by Ken Ferris in London; Reporting by Julien Pretot; Additional reporting by Karolos Grohmann; Editing by Ed Osmond)

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