Lance Armstrong Says Dope Amnesty ‘Only Way To Save Cycling’

Lance Armstrong_2011_headshot

PARIS, Jan 30, 2013 – Lance Armstrong has said that a truth and
reconciliation commission is the only way for cycling to move on from its
drug-addled past, warning that doing nothing would consign the sport to
stagnation and decline.

The 41-year-old, who this month admitted that he used a cocktail of banned
drugs to win the Tour de France a record seven times, told cyclingnews.com in
emailed comments: “It’s (a commission) not the best way, it’s the only way.

“As much as I’m in the eye of the storm, this is not about one man, one
team, one director. This is about cycling and to be frank it’s about ALL
endurance sports. Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this
problem.”

Armstrong was last year banned from cycling for life and stripped of his
career record back to August 1998 after a damning US Anti-Doping Agency
(USADA) dossier accused him of orchestrating the biggest doping programme in
the history of sport.

The revelations of his use of performance-enhancing drugs have rocked the
sport, with the International Cycling Union (UCI) governing body accused of
turning a blind eye to his activities and mass doping within the peloton.

The UCI is currently at loggerheads with the World Anti-Doping Agency
(WADA) and USADA over the creation of a truth and reconciliation commission
and in particular an amnesty for drug cheats.

Armstrong claimed that he suggested setting up a commission to UCI
president Pat McQuaid “many months ago” but the idea was rejected out of hand.
The Texan rider also called the Irishman “pathetic” and claimed he was
protecting himself.

Without an amnesty “no one will show up”, Armstrong added, claiming that no
generation of professional riders was exempt from doping, but WADA should be
in charge of the process and “the UCI has no place at the table”.

Asked about an alternative, he said: “Cycling will never die it will just
simmer. Zero growth. Sponsors leaving, races cancelled — this we are seeing.

“This current state of chaos and petty bullshit, tit for tat, etc, will
just ensure that cycling goes flat or negative for a decade plus. Which is a
real shame for the current crop of young pros the sport has.”

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