During an interview with the Dan Patrick Show this morning, Lance Armstrong said, he believes his rivals would agree that he won the Tour de France those 7 times. To wit:
“I know that’s a polarizing subject question, and it’s certainly polarizing for me to have that on there [the Twitter bio],” Armstrong said. “I think the 200 guys that took that start line, all of those seven years, I think if we went and asked those guys who won the races, they would tell you who won the races. I think it’s unfair, and it’s a real injustice to the sport and to the event to not have a winner. As unfortunate and as messy of a time as it was, it just was what it was. I’m terribly sorry for the people that are literally pissed off and disappointed by that, but I think my competitors would agree that I won those races. And I agree with them.”
Last year, the disgraced cyclist thought of himself as a Tour champion, but respected that many would disagree with him.
Today, Armstrong reiterated his thoughts. “Whether we say that those happened or not, whether I won or not, that’s for others to decide.”
Yet, despite being stripped of his seven Tour de France tittles, officials decided not to elevate the respective runner up from 1999 to 2005 to Tour champion, as they did in 2006 and 2010, when Floyd Landis and Albert Contador were both stripped of their tittles for “doping”.
In 2013, Armstrong’s biggest rival during his reign, Jan Ullrich, said he believed Armstrong should keep his tittles, because “doping’ was so prevalent in the sport during that era.
“I am no better than Armstrong, but no worse either,” said Ullrich, who admitted in June 2013 to blood doping during a career that included second-place finishes behind Armstrong at the 2000, 2001 and 2003 Tours.
Also during his interview, Armstrong said he believes a clean cyclist could over time be better than he was as a “cheater”, referencing US Olympian Justin Gatlin as an example.
“Could somebody be better than you without cheating?”
“I suppose over time it will be, yeah,” Armstrong said. “But don’t we all evolve? Look at the case of Justin Gatlin. He’s tested positive two or three times. He’s now back on the track. He’s probably being tested 82 times a day. He has the fastest time in the world in the 100-meter sprint this year.He’s the favorite for a gold medal. So, I don’t know. Did he just find a way to do it clean? Let’s hope so.
“I’m not trying to excuse what me or an entire generation did, but more and more, I think that’s pretty well-known. We came across an era where the PEDs that were available were so beneficial and so advantageous that if you didn’t gear up, it was going to be hard to stick around.
“When I flew over to Europe in the early ’90s, I thought, this is cool, I’m a tough kid from Plano, Texas. I’m going to work hard and kick these guys’ asses. Within a year or two, it did look different. I thought, OK, I’m not going home. I’m staying, and I’m fighting.”
When asked about forgiveness, Armstrong said; “Were getting closer to that time”.
You must be logged in to post a comment.