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Armstrong riled by cycling's continued 'hypocrisy'

ESPN staff
July 25, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Lance Armstrong has accused authorities of hypocrisy © PA Photos
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Lance Armstrong has accused cycling and doping authorities of "hypocrisy", following the latest revelations surrounding drug use in the Tour de France.

On Wednesday, the French Senate released details of those cyclists who failed drugs tests during the 1998 Tour de France - with race winner Marco Pantani, runner-up Jan Ullrich and third-placed Bobby Julich all named in the report.

Armstrong was infamously stripped of his seven Tour victories after he chose not to defend himself against overwhelming evidence of his doping, but Pantani, Ullrich and Julich will all keep their results - while other riders who have previously failed doping tests, including legends like Eddy Merckx and Miguel Indurain, were feted at recent celebrations for the Tour's 100th race.

Armstrong claimed that his treatment, compared with some of his peers, "reeks of hypocrisy" - and called for cycling to be more open about a dark past that does not begin and end with the American.

"It is what it is," Armstrong said, when contacted by Cycling News. "It's popular now to make me the whipping boy. I get it, I understand it, and I will live it. After all, I brought it on myself.

"Does it reek of hypocrisy? Of course it does."

He added: "I will leave this up to other people and the passage of time to determine if the punishments doled out, or not, meet the crimes on any individual basis."

When asked if he thought the latest revelations would ultimately be good for the sport, Armstrong was unsure. The Texan has been calling for a Truth and Reconciliation programme (TRC) in recent times, where his and other riders' entire doping history would be laid bare, but believes the powers that be are afraid of what might be uncovered.

"I don't know. I really don't," Armstrong added. "I'd like to think that there is some good in all this but from my perspective, sitting here today, there has been nothing but damage done to the sport.

"As I have said, it was an unfortunate era for all of us and virtually all of us broke the rules, and lied about it.

"I have not been contacted by anyone. I suspect in many ways they [WADA] are afraid of a TRC as it would fly in the face of the now famous talking point, 'the most sophisticated doping program in the history of the world'."

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