Armstrong Still Considers Himself Tour De France Record-Holder

American cyclist Lance Armstrong, who was banned for life and stripped of his Tour de France titles, has remarked that he still considers himself the record-holder for Tour victories.

The disgraced cyclist said his life has been ruined by the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency investigation after which he was forced to step down as chairman of his foundation, Livestrong, and all his sponsors deserted him. The USADA investigation exposed as lies his years of denials that he and his teammates doped after which he was banned for life from cycling.

Lance Armstrong went on to say that winning Tour de France without doping was not possible. His claim was refuted by the Tour’s director, Christian Prudhomme, who said the cyclist was milking the race’s notoriety to further his own agenda. Prudhomme added that the cyclist is probably trying to find excuses for himself and say implicitly that there was nothing else he could have done when he said it was impossible to win the Tour during those years without doping.

Jean-Rene Bernaudeau, manager of the Europcar team, remarked that he does not think it is nice that a guy who embodies a decade we should completely forget gives us lessons on how we should behave, while we were the ones who suffered during that time. He added that it is almost surreal and is unacceptable. The French wing of the union, the CPA, said it is disgraceful to be systematically dragged through the mud and be denigrated by people aiming to make money off our backs or seeking notoriety. Jonathan Vaughters, a former Armstrong teammate and manager of the Garmin-Sharp team, said he really wish that we could get on with the truth and reconciliation committee.

Meanwhile, Armstrong said he would be prepared to appear before such a committee and remarked the whole story has still not been told. The cyclist remarked the USADA investigation that unmasked him as a serial doper did not paint a faithful picture of cycling from the end of the 1980s to today and it succeeded perfectly in destroying one man’s life but did not benefit cycling at all. The cyclist went on to remark that doping would never be eradicated and said he didn’t invent doping and nor did it end with him. The cyclist also claimed that La Liga ball clubs are behind the decision of Judge Patricia Santamaria to destroy the evidences collected from the laboratory of Dr Eufemanio Fuentes. He said he thinks La Liga football teams are pressuring the Madrid court judge to exterminate evidences that may link their players to rampant use of banned substance. Armstrong went on to add that doping in football was 100 times more sophisticated than the system employed by him during his cycling career.

Pat McQuaid, president of cycling’s governing body, the UCI, called the timing of the cyclist’s interview “very sad” and said in a statement that the culture within cycling has changed since the Lance Armstrong era and it is now possible to race and win clean.

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