The US Anti-Doping Agency stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles on Friday and banned him from sanctioned sports for life, but it's still unclear whether the international cycling community will recognise its actions.
After USADA's announcement, it was clear that agencies in the United States and Europe were undecided over who had the authority to punish Armstrong.
The International Cycling Union asked USADA for its evidence, which it has yet to reveal, while Tour officials declared they were monitoring the situation.
Armstrong's legal team still was considering whether to appeal a ruling made earlier this week by US District Judge Sam Sparks, who said he didn't have the jurisdiction to issue a permanent injunction against USADA.
Armstrong's two main sponsors - Anheuser-Busch and Nike - stood by the cyclist on Friday while his Austin-based foundation received 400 donations totalling $US75,000 ($A73,000), said Livestrong Foundation spokeswoman Rae Bazzarre.
That's an increase of more than 770 per cent from the day before.
Meanwhile, the 40-year-old Armstrong plans to compete in two Aspen, Colo, sporting events this weekend - a mountain bike race on Saturday and a marathon on Sunday, events that don't fall under USADA's umbrella.
On Friday, he told the American-Statesman that "I'm fine." And he tweeted his thanks to his supporters worldwide.
Armstrong, who retired from cycling a year ago, announced late on Thursday that he would not go through arbitration to fight USADA's charges, declaring he would always be the true winner of the Tours from 1999 to 2005.
USADA acknowledged that it took Armstrong's decision as an admission of guilt, which is why the agency moved so quickly on Friday to penalise him, even changing its own rules to wipe away an eight-year statute of limitations.
"Nobody wins when an athlete decides to cheat with dangerous performance-enhancing drugs, but clean athletes at every level expect those of us here on their behalf to pursue the truth to ensure the win-at-all-cost culture does not permanently overtake fair, honest competition," said Travis Tygart, USADA's chief executive.
Tim Herman, Armstrong's Austin-based lawyer, explained the cyclist's decision to give up the fight against USADA in an interview Friday with the Statesman.
"Lance has been going through this; he's been hounded for over a decade," Herman said.
Herman said the arbitration process is unfairly weighted in USADA's favour and would probably take years to proceed before an arbitration panel and on appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Switzerland.
USADA has won 58 of its 60 arbitration cases.
In his career, Armstrong was investigated by the French government, an independent lawyer from the Netherlands hired by the International Cycling Union, and then by the US government.
No penalties ever were issued.
An arbitration panel awarded Armstrong $US7.5 million ($A7.20 million) in damages in 2006 after Dallas-based SCA Promotions refused to pay him a $US5 million ($A4.8 million) bonus because of what it claimed was Armstrong's drug use to win its Tours.
USADA stated that based on testimony from 12 people, Armstrong used, distributed and trafficked in prohibited substances, including steroids, blood-boosting products and masking agents.
USADA also said Armstrong administered the products to others, then assisted and encouraged a cover-up of at least one doping violation.
The agency never revealed the identities of its witnesses in its official charging document. But in an August 10 court hearing, USADA said two of those witnesses were Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton, both of whom failed drug tests.
Landis lost his 2006 Tour championship, while Hamilton was stripped of his 2004 Olympic gold medal.
It's unclear if the Tour could even award the yellow jersey to a new champion.
Germany's Jan Ullrich finished second to Armstrong in 2000, 2001 and 2003 and was third in 2004. But he stopped riding after he was implicated in a blood-doping scandal that rocked the Tour in 2006.
That same scandal also forced a suspension of Ivan Basso, runner-up to Armstrong in 2005.