GENEVA - Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling's governing body Monday following a report from the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.

UCI President Pat McQuaid announced that the federation accepted the USADA's report on Armstrong and would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling and he deserves to be forgotten in cycling," McQuaid said at a news conference. "This is a landmark day for cycling."

The decision clears the way for Tour de France organizers to officially remove Armstrong's name from the record books, erasing his consecutive victories from 1999-2005.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme has said the race would go along with whatever cycling's governing body decides and will have no official winners for those years.

Armstrong's representatives had no immediate comment.

USADA said Armstrong should be banned and stripped of his Tour titles for "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" within his U.S. Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams. He also loses all race results achieved since August 1998.

The USADA report said Armstrong and his teams used steroids, the blood booster EPO and blood transfusions. The report included statements from 11 former teammates who testified against Armstrong, including that he pressured them to take banned drugs.

"I was sickened by what I read in the USADA report," McQuaid said, singling out the testimony of former teammate David Zabriskie. "The story he told of how he was coerced and to some extent forced into doping is just mind boggling."

Armstrong denies doping, saying he passed hundreds of drug tests. But he chose not to fight USADA in one of the agency's arbitration hearings, arguing the process was biased against him. USADA's report, released earlier this month, was aimed at showing why the agency ordered the sanctions against him.

"At the moment Lance Armstrong hasn't admitted to anything, yet all the evidence is there in this report that he doped," McQuaid said.

Former Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel is also facing doping charges, but he is challenging the USADA case in arbitration.

On Sunday, Armstrong greeted about 4,300 cyclists at his Livestrong charity's fundraiser bike ride in Texas, telling the crowd he's faced a "very difficult" few weeks.

"I've been better, but I've also been worse," Armstrong, a cancer survivor, told the crowd.

While drug use allegations have followed the 41-year-old Armstrong throughout much of his career, the USADA report has badly damaged his reputation. Longtime sponsors Nike, Trek Bicycles and Anheuser-Busch have dropped him, as have other companies, and Armstrong also stepped down last week as chairman of Livestrong, the cancer awareness charity he founded 15 years ago after surviving testicular cancer which spread to his lungs and brain.

Armstrong's astonishing return from life-threatening illness to the summit of cycling offered an inspirational story that transcended the sport. However, his downfall has ended "one of the most sordid chapters in sports history," USADA said in its 200-page report published two weeks ago.

Armstrong has consistently argued that the USADA system was rigged against him, calling the agency's effort a "witch hunt" which pressured witnesses into co-operating.

"It is for Mr. Armstrong to defend himself against such witness statements that he deems to be incorrect. It is not for the UCI to do so," the governing body said in a statement.

If Armstrong's Tour victories are not reassigned there would be a hole in the record books, marking a shift from how organizers treated similar cases in the past.

When Alberto Contador was stripped of his 2010 Tour victory for a doping violation, organizers awarded the title to Andy Schleck. In 2006, Oscar Pereiro was awarded the victory after the doping disqualification of American rider Floyd Landis.

USADA also thinks the Tour titles should not be given to other riders who finished on the podium, such was the level of doping during Armstrong's era.

The agency said 20 of the 21 riders on the podium in the Tour from 1999 through 2005 have been "directly tied to likely doping through admissions, sanctions, public investigations" or other means. It added that of the 45 riders on the podium between 1996 and 2010, 36 were by cyclists "similarly tainted by doping."

The world's most famous cyclist could still face further sports sanctions and legal challenges. Armstrong could lose his 2000 Olympic time-trial bronze medal and may be targeted with civil lawsuits from ex-sponsors or even the U.S. government.

McQuaid said the UCI's board will meet Friday to discuss the OIympic issue and whether to update other race results taking account of Armstrong's disqualifications.

A so-called "Truth and Reconciliation" commission, which could offer a limited amnesty to riders and officials who confessed to doping practices, will also be discussed, UCI legal adviser Philippe Verbiest said.

In total, 26 people — including 15 riders — testified to USADA that Armstrong and his teams used and trafficked banned substances and routinely used blood transfusions. Among the witnesses were loyal sidekick George Hincapie and admitted dopers Tyler Hamilton and Landis.

USADA's case also implicated Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, depicted as the architect of doping programs, and longtime coach and team manager Bruyneel.

Ferrari — who has been targeted in an Italian prosecutor's probe — and another medical official, Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral, received lifetime bans.

Bruyneel, team doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti opted to take their cases to arbitration with USADA. The agency could call Armstrong as a witness at those hearings.

Bruyneel, a Belgian former Tour de France rider, lost his job last week as manager of the RadioShack-Nissan Trek team which Armstrong helped found to ride for in the 2010 season.

Loading Slideshow...
  • Lance Armstrong, Floyd Landis

    In this July 24, 2004, file photo, overall leader Lance Armstrong, right, of Austin, Texas, follows compatriot and teammate Floyd Landis, left, in the ascent of the La Croix Fry pass during the 17th stage of the Tour de France cycling race between Bourg-d'Oisans and Le Grand Bornand, French Alps.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong negotiates the route on the way to his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 15, 2011, file photo, Lance Armstrong pauses during an interview in Austin, Texas. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Thao Nguyen, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 25, 1999 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong being kissed by his wife Kristin, left, and his mother Linda after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this July 6, 2010, file photo, Lance Armstrong grimaces prior to the start of the third stage of the Tour de France cycling race in Wanze, Belgium. Armstrong said on Thursday, Aug. 23, 2012, that he is finished fighting charges from the United States Anti-Doping Agency that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his unprecedented cycling career, a decision that could put his string of seven Tour de France titles in jeopardy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • ARMSTRONG JALABERT MC EWEN

    FILE - This July 28, 2002 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, center, flanked by best sprinter Robbie McEwen, of Australia, right, and best climber Laurent Jalabert, of France, after the 20th and final stage of the Tour de France cycling in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong, File)

  • ARMSTRONG

    FILE - This July 23, 2000 file photo shows Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong riding down the Champs Elysees with an American flag after the 21st and final stage of the cycling race in Paris. The superstar cyclist, whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Laurent Rebours, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    FILE - In this Feb. 28, 2011, file photo, former cycling champion Lance Armstrong smiles during a news conference at the Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency on Wednesday, July 11, 2012, granted Armstrong an extension of up to 30 days to contest drug charges while the seven-time Tour de France winner challenges the case in federal court. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

  • Lance Armstrong, Ivan Basso, Jan Ullrich

    FILE - In this July 24, 2005 file photo, Lance Armstrong gestures from the podium after winning his seventh straight Tour de France cycling race, as second-placed Ivan Basso of Italy, left, and third-placed Jan Ullrich of Germany, look on, after the 21st and final stage of the race in Paris. Armstrong, he superstar cyclist whose stirring victories after his comeback from cancer helped him transcend sports, chose not to pursue arbitration in the drug case brought against him by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. That was his last option in his bitter fight with USADA and his decision set the stage for the titles to be stripped and his name to be all but wiped from the record books of the sport he once ruled. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File)

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong, right, chats with other riders at the start line of the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the starting line in Snowmass Village, Colo., early Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from the sport.

  • Lance Armstrong, Keegan Swirbul

    Lance Armstrong, front, talks to reporters after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. Race-winner Keegan Swirbul, 16, of Aspen, left, clapso his hand.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong guides his bicycle down the steps after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012. The race is the first public appearance for Armstrong since the U.S. Anti-Doping Association stripped him of his seven Tour de France championships and banned him for life from professional cycling.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong listens at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong speaks to delegates at the World Cancer Congress in Montreal Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong signs autographs for supporters after a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong talks to supporters prior to a run, Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012, on Mont Royal Park in Montreal.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong, Isabelle Armstrong, Grace Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong crosses the finish line of the Rev3 Half Full Triathalon with his ten-year-old twin daughters Grace, left, and Isabelle, right, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 in Ellicott City, Md. Armstrong joined other cancer survivors in the event which raised funds for the Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, cyclist Lance Armstrong prepares to take part in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race in Snowmass Village, Colo. With U.S. anti-doping officials set to issue their report on Armstrong's case, a lawyer for the cyclist on Tuesday again criticized the process which led to himn being banned from the sport for life.

  • Lance Armstrong

    In this Aug. 25, 2012, file photo, Lance Armstrong considers a question from a reporter after his second-place finish in the Power of Four mountain bicycle race at the base of Aspen Mountain in Aspen, Colo.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This April 1, 2012 file photo shows seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong grimacing during a news conference after the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon in Galveston, Texas.

  • This is a July 24, 2005, file photo showing overall leader Lance Armstrong, of Austin, Texas, surrounded by press photographers, signaling seven, for his seventh straight win in the Tour de France cycling race, prior to the start of the 21st and final stage of the race, between Corbeil-Essonnes, south of Paris, and the French capital.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This July 5, 2004 file photo shows U.S. Postal Service team leader and five-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, third from right, framed by his teammates as the pack rides during the second stage of the 91st Tour de France cycling race between Charleroi and Namur, Belgium.

  • Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie

    This March 21, 2009 file photo shows Lance Armstrong, of the United States, beside fellow countryman George Hincapie, left, during the Milan-San Remo cycling classic in San Remo, Italy.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Panama.

  • Lance Armstrong

    This May 11, 2012, file photo shows cycling great and cancer survivor Lance Armstrong at a rally in favor of Proposition 29, at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong (center) leads the pack coming to Jack's restaurant in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes.

  • Lance Armstrong

    From left, Bo Jackson, Lance Armstrong, Picabo Street and Ken Griffey, Jr. gather for a photo as the greeted fans and signed autographs in Pleasant Grove, Ala., Friday, April 27, 2012,, on the fourth day of the Bo Bikes Bama charity bike ride on the one-year anniversary of the deadly Alabama tornadoes. Jackson and about 140 bicyclists and the celebrity bikers rode from Cordova, Ala. to Bessemer, Ala. on Friday.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas triathlon, Sunday, April 1, 2012, in Galveston, Texas. Armstrong finished in seventh place.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.

  • Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong competes in the Ironman Panama 70.3. triathlon in Panama City, Sunday Feb. 12, 2012. The race consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13.1-mile run.