LONDON, Jan 24, 2013 (AFP) – Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins on
Thursday admitted he has no sympathy for Lance Armstrong and slammed the
disgraced rider’s claims that he was clean when he returned to the sport in
Armstrong last week admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he
used performance-enhancing drugs during his record run of seven Tour de France
The 41-year-old American has been stripped of all results from August 1,
1998, which resulted in British rider Wiggins’ finish in the 2009 Tour de
France being upgraded from fourth to third.
Armstrong claims he did not dope in that event, which marked his return to
competitive cycling, despite evidence to the contrary in the United States
Anti-Doping Agency report which resulted in his downfall.
After watching the Oprah interview, Team Sky star Wiggins still does not
believe Armstrong is telling the truth about his return.
“What upset me the most was about 2009/10 – I thought you lying bastard,”
“I can still remember going toe to toe with him and watching the man I saw
on the top of Verbiers in 2009 to the man I saw on the top of Ventoux a week
later when we were in doping control together. It wasn’t the same bike rider.
“You only have to watch the videos of how the guy was riding. I don’t
believe anything that comes out of his mouth anymore.”
Wiggins admits he didn’t want to watch Armstrong’s confession because he
had spent so long idolizing the American as a youngster.
And when he eventually did sit down with his seven-year-old son to see what
Armstrong had to say, Wiggins found it hard to contain his anger.
“Part of me didn’t want to watch it, the fan in me didn’t want that
perception of him to be broken as this amazing athlete,” Wiggins said.
“Then I had to watch it – I watched it with my seven-year-old son – so
those initial questions, the yes, no answers, just watching him suddenly cave
in after all those years of lying so convincingly – it was a lot of anger, a
lot of sadness and slightly emotional.
“It was difficult to watch. My wife couldn’t watch it, she walked out of
“It was heartbreaking in some respects for the sport, but then the anger
kicks in…the natural things that most people were thinking when they watched
“It’s very difficult and then I have to explain to my son what it’s all
“He’s won the same race your dad’s won, but by the end of the hour and a
half I had the best feeling in the world about the whole thing.
“There was this element of being quite smug about the whole thing to be
honest. Then I got quite ‘you deserve everything you get’ about it.
“In that hour and a half of watching the whole thing, the up and down of
the emotions and by the end it was ‘you deserve everything you get now’ and
feeling no sympathy whatsoever behind all the welling up and the tears.”