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UCI set to respond to Armstrong report
Cycling's world governing body will reveal on Monday whether they endorse the United States Anti-Doping Agency's damning report which accuses Lance Armstrong of systematic doping during his seven Tour de France victories.
In August, Armstrong announced he would no longer fight USADA's charges against him, describing their investigation as a "witch hunt".
The agency promptly responded by issuing the American with a lifetime ban and stripping him of his record seven tour titles.
Two weeks ago USADA published a 1,000-page body of evidence which alleged Armstrong and his US Postal Service team had been guilty of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
It included testimony from 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates, who were all handed six-month bans.
The UCI had until the end of October to respond to the report, and on Monday president Pat McQuaid will announce whether they accept the findings and thus rubber-stamp Armstrong's punishment, or reject them and take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
The content of USADA's report has left cycling in a beleaguered state as it faces the biggest crisis in its history, even greater than the uproar created by the Festina scandal of 1998.
Should Armstrong, viewed by many as the sport's greatest champion and renowned for his work in fighting cancer, see his punishment confirmed it will be the darkest of days.
Armstrong has always protested his innocence, but he has lost support from some of his major sponsors since USADA's report was made public.
Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch, brewers of Budweiser, all severed their ties with Armstrong, while fashion brand Oakley are reviewing their position in the wake of the doping scandal which has transcended sport.