Cycling: Anti-doping chief rubbishes Lance Armstrong's 'cheating' defence
Monday 28 January 2013
Lance Armstrong's claims that his use of performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career made it a level playing field have been labelled "amazing" and "simply not true" by the US Anti-Doping Agency chief executive, Travis Tygart.
The disgraced Texan, who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by the sport's world governing body the UCI last year, admitted doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this month, saying: "That's like saying we have to have air in our tyres or water in our bottles. It was part of the job."
He added: "I looked up the definition of cheating and the definition is 'to gain an advantage on a rival or foe'. I did not view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field."
Tygart told the CBS 60 Minutes programme last night: "It's amazing. You could go to almost any kindergarten in this country or frankly around the world and find kids playing tag or four square and ask them what cheating is. Every one of them will tell you [cheating] is breaking the rules of the game.
"No real athlete has to look up the definition of cheating. It's offensive to clean athletes who are out there working hard to play by the rules that apply to their sport."
Asked if the 41-year-old Armstrong was right to view his use of drugs as providing a level playing field, Tygart – whose organisation prompted the UCI's action by claiming Armstrong and his US Postal team had run "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen" – replied: "It's just simply not true. The access they had to inside information – to how the tests work, what tests went in place at what time, special access to the laboratory... he was on an entirely different playing field to all the other athletes – even if you assume all the other athletes had access to some doping products."
Latest in Sport
Cristiano Ronaldo vine: Real Madrid forward sent-off for kicking and striking opponent during 2-1 win over Cordoba
What time is the 2015 WWE Royal Rumble on? TV details and full card
Sam Burgess: Bath and England's next big thing
Brighton 2 Arsenal 3 player ratings: Did Tomas Rosicky's performance and goal make him man of the match at Amex Stadium?
Tennis fan suing Australian Open organisers for 'failing to shade spectators' during Murray match
- 1 The truth about 'girl things': Three cheers for Heather Watson's honesty
- 2 Man who held up 'hire me' sign at Waterloo station returns a year later with 'I'm hiring' sign
- 5 Men behaving badly: Urinating while standing, 'manspreading' and the gendering of selfishness
Nigel Farage: NHS might have to be replaced by private health insurance
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
George Galloway condemns 'racist, Islamophobic, hypocritical rag' Charlie Hebdo at freedom of speech rally
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
Excellent Salary : Austen Lloyd: OXFORD - REGIONAL FIRM - An excellent opportu...
Super Package: Austen Lloyd: BRISTOL - SENIOR CLINICAL NEGLIGENCE - An outstan...
£15000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Fantastic opportunities are ava...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Compute Engineer is required to join a globa...