The United States Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and banned him from cycling for life on this day in 2012.

The 40-year-old elected not to contest doping charges brought against him, dismissing proceedings as a “witch hunt” and claiming he did not feel the process was a fair one.

In a statement, Armstrong 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.

Lance Armstrong was banned from cycling in 2012(livesportcentre.com)
Lance Armstrong was banned from cycling in 2012 (John Giles/PA)

“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?”

In a television interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, Armstrong admitted taking banned substances – including EPO – to help win the Tour de France.

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