Seldom far from the media spotlight, the ever-defiant Lance Armstrong recently told the media, that he believes that every pro cyclist would “dope”, if there was an undetectable performance enhancing drug available.
To wit, “everyone would be on it”.
The defrocked Tour de France champion, said in an interview this week with the British newspaper, The Times, that he “wasn’t a ringleader for doping during his time in the sport.”
Moreover, he believes that doping would similarly proliferated the peloton, as it did during his years of racing, if there was a drug like EPO, that could go undetected.
“I didn’t stand over my team-mates telling them to dope. That’s 100 per cent false,” he said. “The sport fostered that culture. You had a substance, EPO, that was so efficient and if they have an equivalent tomorrow that is undetectable, everyone would be on it.”
Following his retirement in 2005, Armstrong decided to return to racing in 2009. And, despite admitting to “doping” during most of his career, he adamantly insists, that he rode “clean”, during that year’s Tour de France with the Astana team.
However, the US Anti-Doping Agency believes differently.
“USADA had three or four key messages to pound home – ‘the most sophisticated doping programme in history, the greatest fraud in the history of sport, Armstrong forced young men to put dangerous substances in their body’ – all of which is untrue,” he said.
“In 2009, and 2010, I did nothing. I have said that under oath. If there is a reliable test that absolutely works and they say, ‘Lance, give us your samples,’ then 100 per cent I’d be in favour. But they don’t want to do that because if I’m proven clean in 2009 and 2010, it works against their narrative.”
Additionally, Armstrong believes that none of his rivals during his reign as Tour de France champion, view him as being a “cheat”.
Indeed, Armstrong maintains the whole peloton was on EPO during that period.
“None of my fellow competitors think I am a cheat.
“The percentage of riders in the Tour de France during my generation were all on EPO. “If there were a 190 riders in the Tour, 200 were on EPO.’
“The sport fostered that culture. You had a substance, EPO, that was incredibly effective”.
“If they had an equivalent today that is undetectable, everyone would be on it.”
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