Armstrong became the subject of doping allegations after he won the 1999 Tour de France. For years, he denied involvement in doping. In 2012, a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation concluded that Armstrong had used performance-enhancing drugs over the course of his career and named him as the ringleader of “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen. ” While maintaining his innocence, Armstrong chose not to contest the charges, citing the potential toll on his family. As a result, he was stripped of all of his achievements from August 1998 onward, including his seven Tour de France titles. He also received a lifetime ban from all sports that follow the World Anti-Doping Code, ending his competitive cycling career. The International Cycling Union (UCI) upheld USADA’s decision and decided that his stripped wins would not be allocated to other riders. [N 1] In January 2013, Armstrong publicly acknowledged his involvement in doping. In April 2018, Armstrong settled a civil lawsuit with the United States Department of Justice and agreed to pay US$5 million to the U. S. government after whistleblower proceedings were commenced by Floyd Landis, a former team member.