Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong promises '100% transparency and honesty' in assisting any further doping inquiries but seeks assurances first
The man labelled as behind 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful
doping programme sport has ever seen' has spoken out over his willingness to help rid the sport of drug cheats
Disgraced former cyclist Lance Armstrong has revealed that he is prepared to testify with “100 per cent transparency and honesty” in the future if he is involved in any further inquiries into doping.
He will only do so though if he is given assurances that he will receive fair treatment following his January admission that he was using performance-enhancing drugs during all seven of his Tour de France triumphs, which rocked the sport like never before when the American was finally exposed.
Speaking to the BBC, Armstrong argued that some who have been involved in doping have been given a “total free pass” whereas others have received “the death penalty” in their treatment by officials.
The United States Anti-Doping Agency labelled Armstrong as carrying out "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme sport has ever seen", stripping him of all seven of his Tour de France successes in August last year.
Having overcome cancer to claim his first title in 1999, and was also forced to relinquish the bronze medal he won in the road time trial at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Armstrong took the chance to reflect on his decision to reveal his shame in an interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey.
"It's been tough," he told the BBC’s World Service. "It's been real tough. I've paid a high price in terms of my standing within the sport, my reputation, certainly financially because the lawsuits have continued to pile up.
"I have experienced massive personal loss, massive loss of wealth while others have truly capitalised on this story.
"I was going to have to answer the questions anyway. There were plenty of lawsuits in place that would have put me in the cross-hairs."
What Armstrong is now calling for though is consistency from the USADA in terms of the penalties handed out to those found guilty of doping.
"If everyone gets the death penalty, then I'll take the death penalty," said the Texan.
"If everyone gets a free pass, I'm happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I'll take my six months."
The 42-year-old hopes to draw a line under the controversy, insisting that he hopes to “close the chapter and move things forward” and that he doesn’t have "a whole lot of credibility" left but admits he has "nothing to lose" after the scandal.
"Do I think that this process has been good for cycling?" he asked when speaking about the UCI’s announcement that an independent commission will look into how far drugs has gone into disrupting the sport. "No. I don't think our sport has been served well by going back 15 years.
"I don't think that any sport, or any political scenario, is well served going back 15 years.
"And if you go back 15 years, you might as well go back 30."
Armstrong admitted that authorities will always face a difficult task in tackling drug cheats due to “the development of pharmaceuticals”, but refused to be drawn on whether the allowance of drugs should be considered in some way, shape or form.
“That's way above my pay-grade to try to decide that,” he said. “I'll let those people who pretend to be, or who are the experts, try to decide that.”
Latest in Sport
Paul Scholes: Manchester United vs Liverpool - I don't understand why Brendan Rodgers was not more attacking against Basel
Jesus Christ plays for Chelsea - that's what one in five children thinks
Transfer Talk: Nemanja Vidic to return to Manchester United; Hazard to leave Chelsea; Sunderland want Radamel Falcao
Frank Warren column: Don't bet on Amir Khan landing pay day against Floyd Mayweather
Manchester United transfer news: Kevin Strootman move edges closer
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
£50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an incredible opportunity for a ...
£16000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Administrator is requir...
£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of design...
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...