Lance Armstrong: You can't win Tour de France title without taking drugs

‘Sad’ Armstrong embroiled in explosive new doping bust-up

Paris

Pat McQuaid, the president of world cycling’s governing body the UCI, has hit back at claims by disgraced rider Lance Armstrong that the sport cannot change its doping image while the Irishman remains in charge.

Armstrong claimed McQuaid – currently facing a re-election challenge from British Cycling’s Brian Cookson – must go if the sport is to clean up.

“Things just cannot change as long as McQuaid stays in power,” Armstrong said. “The UCI refuses to establish a truth and reconciliation commission because the testimony that everyone would want to hear would bring McQuaid, [his predecessor] Hein Verbruggen and the whole institution down.”

McQuaid yesterday released a statement of his own, which read: “It is very sad that Lance Armstrong has decided to make this statement on the eve of the Tour de France. However, I can tell him categorically that he is wrong. His comments do absolutely nothing to help cycling. Armstrong’s views and opinions are shaped by his own behaviour and time in the peloton. Cycling has now moved on.”

Armstrong made his comments in an interview with the French newspaper Le Monde and also claimed it was impossible to win the Tour de France without using drugs. The American implied all recent winners of the race – including Sir Bradley Wiggins last year – must have taken some form of illegal substance.

“I didn’t invent doping. It didn’t stop with me, either,” Armstrong said. In reply to the question whether it was possible to win cycle races without drugs while he was a professional rider, Armstrong said: “It depends which races you want to win. The Tour de France? Impossible without dope. The Tour is a test of endurance, where oxygen is the decisive factor. EPO, for example, is not going to help a sprinter over 100 metres but it will make all the difference to a 10,000-metre runner. That’s obvious.”

Although Armstrong was replying to questions about the period 1995-2005, his answers strongly implied that nothing had changed. That will enrage top riders who have succeeded him, such as Wiggins and this year’s Tour favourite Chris Froome, who insist they and the sport are clean.

Asked how the doping habit in cycling could be broken, Armstrong said: “For many reasons, it will never finish. Doping has existed since antiquity and will always exist. I know that’s not a popular thing to say but it is unfortunately the reality.”

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Packaging Operatives

£7 - £8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: An opportunity has arisen for two indivi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee / Graduate Helpdesk Analyst

£20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly reputable business is looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Estimator

£28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a major supplier of buil...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer

£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas