Ducking, diving and deceit prove to be difficult habits for serial cheat to break

Sat, Jan 19, 2013, 00:00

CYCLING/INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC),in a statement: “There can be no place for doping in sport and the IOC unreservedly condemns the actions of Lance Armstrong and all those who seek an unfair advantage against their fellow competitors by taking drugs. This is a sad day for sport but there is a positive side if these revelations can begin to draw a line under previous practices.”

DAVID HOWMAN, (World Anti-Doping Agency) director general: “It seemed to us it was more of a convenient truth than a full display of what went on and that is really what we would ask him to do. It displays that talking to a talk show host is not a very effective way of getting the full information out because a talk show host doesn’t have the full story. I think there were a lot of words put into his mouth, that’s not the way you get full information.”

TRAVIS TYGART, United States Anti-Doping Agency chief, in a statement: “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction but if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”

PAT McQUAID, International Cycling Union (UCI) president, in a statement: “The UCI welcomes Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to come clean and to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, in the first part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey. We note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”

CHRISTIAN PRUDHOMME, Tour de France race director, said: “What we’ve just seen is a minutely calibrated exercise in communication. Just a few weeks ago, if we’d been told that Armstrong was doping during the Tour de France, we wouldn’t have thought it possible. But after the leaks we’ve had recently, this leaves something to be desired. We need to go further . . . We need to know more about the way he was able to dope and especially about the influence of his entourage.

“The Armstrong affair offers a snapshot of the way cycling was a few years ago. I can’t tell you that the sport is perfect today. Things have already changed. Now what we need to prevent this sort of affair is to know more.”

CHRIS HOY, six-times Olympic cycling champion, told reporters: “We’ve got to remember it’s one man . . . it’s not the whole sport. The majority of cyclists, the huge majority of cyclists are clean. We are showing that we can win gold medals and you can be clean and be proud of your sport and show that not all cyclists are like Lance Armstrong.”

DAVID MILLAR, British rider who served two-year doping ban, told a forum: “I can’t help but empathise with him even if it was Oprah and not a judge but sympathise is too strong a word . . . He’s got kids and they’re going to have to go to school. A couple of years ago their dad was the best in the world and now he’s a pariah.”

GREG LEMOND, triple Tour de France winner, to Cyclingnews: “If Armstrong had given Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton the same stuff he was taking, he would never have won – they would have beaten him.”

JOERG JAKSCHE, German former rider who has admitted doping, told Sky Sports News: “I didn’t have the feeling that he was regretting that he doped, I had more of a feeling that he regretted that he came back and it was the start of all his problems.”

JAIMIE FULLER, founder of Change Cycling Now pressure group, told Reuters: “There’s a hell of a lot more needed beyond an interview with Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey. Having said that, he did make a couple of points that certainly are relevant and the main one is calling for a truth and reconciliation commission.”

EMMA O’REILLY, Armstrong’s former masseuse who was sued by the rider after speaking out about his doping, told ITV: “I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were as comfortable with cheating as Lance was. And you could see when he went over to the ‘dark side’ personalities change – and it was an awful shame.”

BETSY ANDREU, wife of former Armstrong team mate Frankie and who had previously said she had heard the disgraced rider confess to doctors treating him for testicular cancer that he had doped, told CNN: “He could have come clean, he owed it to me, he owed it to the sport that he destroyed. The hospital is where it all started. If he wants a shot of redemption here, he’s dropping the ball.”

DAVID WALSH, Sunday Times journalist and author who has battled to expose Armstrong’s doping and who was sued by Armstrong, told the BBC: “The Sunday Times will be looking for around $2 million back from Armstrong, he should pay that back now straight up, no questions, because the Sunday Times were the one newspaper at that time asking the right questions.

“The Sunday Times are saying now: ‘Lance, you admit you doped, give us our money back, do the fair thing, if you don’t do the fair thing we will go all the way to get our money back’.”

Armstrong What he said to Oprah

On doping in cycling:

“That’s like saying we have to have air in our tyres or water in our bottles. It was part of the job.”

On cheating:

“I looked up the definition of cheating and the definition is ‘to gain an advantage on a rival or foe’. I did not view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field.”

On the doping culture:

“I didn’t invent the culture, but I didn’t try to stop the culture. The sport is now paying the price because of that.”

On bullying:

“I was a bully in the sense that I tried to control the narrative, and if I didn’t like what somebody said . . . I tried to control that.”

On Betsy Andreu, who testified against him in 2006:

“I said ‘Listen, I called you crazy. I called you a bitch. I called you all these things, but I never called you fat.’”

On Emma O’Reilly, the masseuse who revealed his doping:

“Hey, she’s one of these people that I have to apologise to. She’s one of these people that got run over, got bullied.”

On his deception:

“I view this situation as one big lie. I try to take myself out of this situation and look at it: you overcome the disease, you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. It’s this mythic, perfect story and it wasn’t true.”

On being part of a system called the most sophisticated doping system ever seen:

“To say that that programme was bigger than the East German programme in the mid-80s, it’s not true.”

On Usada’s allegation he doped in his comeback years:

“That’s the only thing in that whole report that really upset me.”

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