Armstrong: I Would Not Report Other Cyclists

In a recent interview Lance Armstrong the previous Tour de France champion said he would never have told

Armstrong during an interview in his 2009 Tour de France (c) Benepe

authorities about the drug use of fellow cyclists.

In response to a question from the reporter about whether he was protecting Dr. Michele Ferrari in his interview with Oprah last week, Armstrong said,  “I wasn’t ‘protecting’ anyone. I was there to speak about myself, my experiences, and my mistakes,” reported Cycling News.

“I know that goes against what we have grown used to in the last few years in cycling but I’m only interested in owning up to my mistakes,” he continued

Armstrong also said that the problem with drug abuse in cycling was endemic to the professional sport, and that no one person is  responsible for what has occurred.

“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,” he told reporter Daniel Benson. “Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem.”

Armstrong also had strong words for the Union Cyclistes International, whom he said “have no place at the table.”

Benson then asked the cancer survivor how he felt about Pat McQuaid, who runs the UCI. “It’s pretty clear to anyone with a brain that the UCI played the game and knew the score, yet Pat McQuaid said you had no place in cycling,” he said

“Pat is just in constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode. Pathetic,” replied Armstrong.

Armstrong also had strong words for Travis Tygart, the lead investigator for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency who made it his business to pursue Armstrong above and beyond just about every single cyclist in the sport, and then slap him with a lifelong ban based on testimony, a first in pro cycling.

“Letting some race the season then giving minor off seasons sanctions versus the death penalty (for similar offences) isn’t fair and isn’t about ‘cleaning up cycling’. It’s about getting your man,” said Armstrong.

 Armstrong’s big regret? That young cyclists will pay for several decades of hypocrisy in a sport where cyclists routinely used banned substances, and sponsors and agencies were aiding and abetting by putting them up to bigger and bigger physical feats, such as the Tour de France.
“No generation was exempt or ‘clean’. Not Merckx’s, not Hinault’s, not LeMond’s, not Coppi’s, not Gimondi’s, not Indurain’s, not Anquetil’s, not Bartali’s, and not mine,” said Armstrong.