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Lance Armstrong Effigy To Be Burned At Edenbridge Bonfire Celebration In Britain (PHOTO)

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LANCE ARMSTRONG EFFIGY
Artist Frank Shepherd poses with his creation of U.S. cyclist Lance Armstrong, who has been selected as this year's Edenbridge Bonfire Society celebrity guy during an unveiling for the media in Edenbridge, England, on Oct. 31. The Edenbridge Bonfire Society has a long tradition of building symbolic effigies of famous people to burn during their Guy Fawkes bonfire night. (AP Photo / Gareth Fuller, PA) | AP

An effigy of Lance Armstrong will be burned during an English town's bonfire celebrations, reports say.

According to the Associated Press, a 30-foot effigy of Armstrong -- who was recently stripped of his numerous Tour de France titles for doping offenses -- will be burned during Edenbridge's renowned Bonfire Night.

Every year, the event's organizers choose a celebrity to be burned in effigy. In 2011, the unfortunate celeb was soccer player Mario Balotelli. The Manchester City striker had made headlines earlier that year for setting off a firework in his own bathroom, according to the Guardian.

This year, organizers say they had a tough time deciding which famous personality would go up in flames.

The BBC reports that radical cleric Abu Hamza, British media personality Jimmy Savile and George Osborne, a British Conservative politician and Chancellor of the Exchequer, had made the fiery shortlist.

In the end, however, it was the disgraced cyclist who emerged as the top pick.

"Lance Armstrong is certainly the biggest villain in sport, with fans across the globe feeling cheated by a man who was thought to be whiter than white," said Mark Young, spokesman of the Edenbridge Bonfire Society.

Young added that Osborne was ruled out for being "a bit boring," and Savile was crossed off the list over concerns that children attending the bonfire would "start asking their parents questions." (Savile is suspected of "widespread sexual abuse," BBC reports.)

The effigy of Armstrong will be wearing a "Jim'll Fix It" badge in reference to Savile's BBC TV show of the same name. The effigy will also be holding a sign that says "For sale, racing bike, no longer required."

Last week, the International Cycling Union stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour De France titles and banned him from professional cycling for life.

"Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling," UCI President Pat McQuaid said as he confirmed the ratification.

The decision came after years of probes and rumors that Armstrong had been guilty of doping. The cancer survivor, who was once widely regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time, has vehemently denied the accusations.

His effigy will be burned at the Edenbridge bonfire celebrations this Saturday.

According to Agence France-Presse (AFP), revelers across Britain "celebrate with bonfires and fireworks on or around November 5 to mark a failed 1605 plot to blow up parliament and kill king James I."

Traditionally, writes the AFP, an effigy -- which "for centuries represented Catholic rebel Guy Fawkes, the leader of the so-called Gunpowder Plot" -- is burned.

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