Lance Armstrong Stripped of 7 Tour de France Titles, Banned for Life After Doping Scandal

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Roberts said Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation was never far from the surface, something others have referred to as his "cancer shield."

"You're confronted with sort of the perception that if you're not pro-Lance, then, absurdly, you're pro-cancer," Roberts told ABC News.

Former Bicycling magazine editor and chief Steve Madden wrote about Armstrong's alleged influence in a blog post: "Armstrong exerted a Corleone-like influence in the cycling industry ... he could make an advertiser disappear from our pages."

McQuaid said the UCI will meet Friday to discuss the fate of Armstrong's 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

With the UCI decision, Armstrong might face multimillion-dollar lawsuits from ex-sponsors and might have to return about $4 million in cash prizes that he has won since 1998 as a seven-time Tour champion.

ABC News' Russell Goldman, Sydney Lupkin and Katie Conway contributed to this report.

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