Lance Armstrong believes doping is needed to win Tour de France
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong is back in the news, claiming that doping is needed to win the Tour de France.
According to the Associated Press, during an interview with a French newspaper, Armstrong was asked if he thought it was possible to win without doping.
“That depends on which races you wanted to win. The Tour de France? No. Impossible to win without doping. Because the Tour is a test of endurance where oxygen is decisive,” he said.
He went on to say that he still considers himself the record-holder for the seven Tour victories, even though his titles were stripped from him last year.
After vigorously denying the allegations for years, the 41-year-old finally admitted in a January television interview, to doping throughout his cycling career. He was dropped by many of his sponsors, and just last month, the New York Daily News reported that Nike ended their relationship with his Livestrong foundation.
With the Tour de France just a day away, the International Cycling Union is not happy with Armstrong’s comments. President Pat McQuaid called the timing “very sad.”
“I can tell him categorically that he is wrong. His comments do absolutely nothing to help cycling. The culture within cycling has changed since the Armstrong era and it is now possible to race and win clean,” McQuaid commented.
In addition, current Tour riders also voiced their dismay with what Armstrong had to say.
“If he’s saying things like he doesn’t think that it’s possible to win the Tour clean, then he should be quiet – because it is possible,” said American rider Tejay van Garderen.
In an effort to clarify his comments, Armstrong took to Twitter to say that he was talking about winning in his era, from 1999 to 2005.
“Today? I have no idea. I’m hopeful it’s possible,” he tweeted.