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Wednesday 1 October 2014

Lance Armstrong slams 'pathetic' UCI chief Pat McQuaid

Matt McGeehan and Martyn Ziegler

Published 30/01/2013 | 16:02

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LANCE Armstrong is adamant a truth and reconciliation commission is the only way forward for all endurance sports, not just cycling, saying: "Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem."

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Armstrong recently admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs in winning seven Tour de France titles after being stripped of all results from August 1, 1998 and banned from sport for life.

An independent commission set up by the UCI, cycling's world governing body, to investigate its relationship with Armstrong was recently disbanded in a dispute with the World Anti-Doping Agency and the United States Anti-doping Agency over an amnesty for witnesses.

Armstrong believes such a process is the only way for endurance sport to tackle the spectre of doping.

In an email interview with, Armstrong said: "It's not the best way, it's the only way.

"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.

"Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem."

In his first interview since his public confession to Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong stated the UCI should not be involved in a truth and reconciliation commission (TRC), which he believes WADA should lead.

Armstrong told Winfrey he would be willing to partake in such an inquiry.

Asked why WADA and not USADA should run the process, Armstrong said: "No brainer. This is a global sport not an American one. One thing I'd add - the UCI has no place at the table.

"When I was on speaking terms with ol' Pat McQuaid (the UCI president) many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full-blown, global, TRC is our sport's best solution.' He wanted to hear nothing of it.

"I'd say that if you are alive today and you podiumed in a WC (World Championships) or Grand Tour then you should be called.

"Sounds ambitious but the authorities have proven that nothing with regards to cycling is time barred."

An amnesty is necessary, Armstrong says, because "otherwise no-one will show up. No-one."

Armstrong painted a bleak picture when asked the alternative to a TRC.

He said: "This current state of chaos and petty b*******, tit for tat, etc, will just insure (sic) that cycling goes flat or negative for a decade plus."

Armstrong did not implicate others in his interview with Winfrey, even though he was asked specifically about his relationship with Dr Michele Ferrari and the UCI.

The Texan did not hide his disdain for McQuaid when asked his thoughts on when the Irishman announced last October that Armstrong had no place in cycling.

He said: "Pat is just in constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode. Pathetic."

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