1. Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme walking toward microphone on balcony of ASO (Amaury Sport Organisation - organisers of Tour de France)
2. Cutaway television camera
3. SOUNDBITE (French) Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director:
"The report from the US Anti-Doping Agency was appalling. The decision taken by the International Cycling Union today is for us without surprise. It's even totally logical, we were expecting it. Lance Armstrong is no longer the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005 and so for us, and as I said about 10 days ago, we wish that for those years, the Tour de France titles remain blank. The International Cyclist Union has formally taken this decision but for us it's clear we have those years without winners."
4. Cutaway television camera
5. SOUNDBITE (French) Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director:
(Reporter asking about whether Armstrong will be asked to reimburse winnings)
"The International Cycling Union's rules are very clear on this subject, if a rider losses a position for which he was awarded, he has to reimburse it - Article 1 2 073."
6. Mid of 2012 Tour de France route map
7. Close-up of map
8. SOUNDBITE (French) Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director:
"Today riders get caught and they are going to know with Armstrong that those who cheat will get caught sooner or later whatever happens. But once again, it shouldn't only be the rider, the winner, it should also be the entourage."
9. Close-up of Tour de France logo
10. SOUNDBITE (French) Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director:
"The Tour de France is a part of our heritage. It's a huge event. It goes beyond sports, it's a social link. The Tour de France is about all the families on the side of the road. The Tour de France is a peaceful event that we experience with joy and serenity. Once you go and watch the Tour de France from the road, you remember it for the rest of your life even if the cyclists pass through really quickly that's the magic of the Tour. So the principal victims are these people but I'm sure they will stick with us, they'll stay on the side of the road because everything that has been put into place over the past few years should enable them to believe in it again."
11. Mid entrance of Tour de France organisers ASO
12. SOUNDBITE (French) Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director:
"We would have preferred that none of this had happened. But now we prefer that this goes to the end and that the International Cycling Union draw all the conclusions specifically so that this doesn't happen again, but even if we judge that what happened is in the past and even if I have the feeling and the conviction today that things have changed."
Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said he no longer considers Lance Armstrong a seven-time winner of the world's most prestigious cycling race - one which now hopes to finally shake off years of doping scandals.
Speaking shortly after cycling's governing body ratified the US Anti-Doping Agency's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour titles, Prudhomme welcomed the decision, reiterating his belief that there should be no new champions declared for the seven Tours that Armstrong had won.
"It's without surprise that we received today's news, it's totally logical. Lance Armstrong is no longer the winner of the Tour de France from 1999-2005," Prudhomme said at the Paris headquarters of ASO, which owns the race.
"We wish that there is no winner for this period. For us, very clearly, the titles should remain blank. Effectively, we wish for these years to remain without winners."
Armstrong also finished third in the 2009 Tour in his comeback year, but the UCI (International Cycling Union) has yet to say whether that podium place will be removed.
"In all logic, everything must disappear," Prudhomme said. "This is the story of a real talent who lost his way."
USADA, which published a damning 200-page report packed with testimonies from several of Armstrong's former teammates on the US Postal team, says all of Armstrong's results dating back to August 1998 should be removed.
The UCI was expected to meet Friday to further discuss what to do with the podium places from Armstrong's seven Tour wins, notably whether to move other riders up, the 2009 podium spot, and other race wins during his long career.
USADA and witness testimonies from former Postal teammates such as George Hincapie, Jonathan Vaughters, Frankie Andreu and Levi Leipheimer placed the cancer survivor as the focal point of the doping that went on inside the team.
"It's the system that's especially to blame," Prudhomme said. "We're in a mafia system that goes beyond doping and which goes beyond the name of sport ... this time it's a global crisis. Armstrong's aura touches everyone, everywhere in the world."
Prudhomme was evasive when asked if ASO - whose newspaper L'Equipe published a damning report into Armstrong's use of EPO on the '99 Tour only days after he'd completed his seventh Tour win - regretted welcoming Armstrong back on the race in 2009.
"At the time, we said Armstrong could come back if he submitted himself to the same rules as everyone else," Prudhomme said, also citing the improvement in anti-doping controls when the Texan made his comeback.
Still, Prudhomme is optimistic that the UCI's ratification of USADA's findings is a massive step forward for cycling.
"It's through difficulty that you can build things," he said. "Today's cycling has already changed from the past, but of course the UCI must learn all the lessons from the Armstrong case and how we arrived at this point."
Prudhomme said Armstrong's prize money from the seven Tours should also be reimbursed.
"The UCI rules are clear: when a rider loses his title, he must reimburse his winnings," Prudhomme said.