Armstrong says cycling needs a global cleanup
BY AP Wire Service
Thursday, January 31, 2013
1/31/13 at 5:21 AM
LONDON (AP) - A truth and reconciliation program is the "only way" to rid cycling of performance-enhancing drugs, and the sport's governing body should have no role in the process, Lance Armstrong said in an interview with a British publication.
Cyclingnews on Wednesday published questions and answers it exchanged with Armstrong through emails and texts. In an interview two weeks ago with Oprah Winfrey, the cyclist acknowledged for the first time that he doped to win a record seven Tour de France titles.
Armstrong said no generation was ever "clean," and the best way forward is a truth and reconciliation process offering amnesty to riders and officials who detail doping in the sport.
"It's not the best way, it's the only way," he said. "As much as I'm 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."
Asked if he felt like a fall guy, Armstrong said: "Actually, yes I do. But I understand why. We all make the beds we sleep in."
In his interview with Winfrey, Armstrong said he would be willing to take part in any truth and reconciliation process.
He told Cyclingnews the program should be run by the World Anti-Doping Agency and not the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, the body which produced a scathing report detailing systematic doping by Armstrong and his teams.
Asked why he would not speak to USADA, Armstrong said: "No brainer. This is a global sport not an American one."
He also insisted that international cycling body UCI and its president, Pat McQuaid, should not be involved.
"When I was on speaking terms with ol' Pat McQuaid many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full-blown, global, TRC is our sport's best solution,' " Armstrong said. "He wanted to hear nothing of it."
The UCI and WADA have been engaged in a war of words over how to deal with the fallout from the Armstrong scandal. WADA called the UCI "deceitful" Tuesday for shutting down its independent doping panel and said it won't participate in an amnesty commission set up by the cycling body.
Asked if he hopes to get his life ban reduced if he testifies to WADA, Armstrong said that was irrelevant.
Original Print Headline: Armstrong: Doping is global