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Thursday 28 August 2014

I was a scapegoat for doping culture, claims Armstrong

Nick Hoult London

Published 31/01/2013 | 05:00

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Lance Armstrong has claimed that he was the victim of cycling's doping culture, saying he was the "fall guy" for the sport's problems.

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Armstrong, pictured, also said that the International Cycling Union had "no place at the table" in a truth and reconciliation hearing and described Pat McQuaid, the UCI president, as "pathetic".

In his first interview since his confessional with Oprah Winfrey two weeks ago, Armstrong said he was the product of cycling's cheating culture.

"My generation was no different than any other. The 'help' has evolved over the years but the fact remains that our sport is damn hard, the Tour was invented as a stunt, and very tough mother f*****s have competed for a century and all looked for advantages. From hopping on trains 100 years ago to EPO now. No generation was exempt or 'clean'."

When asked by the website cyclingnews.com whether he felt he was a scapegoat, he answered: "Actually, yes I do. But I understand why. We all make the beds we sleep in."

Armstrong told Winfrey he would be the "first through the door" at any truth and reconciliation commission and said McQuaid was in "CYA (cover your ass) mode".

"It's not the best way, it's the only way," he said about a truth and reconciliation commission.

"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. . . Pat is just in constant CYA mode. Pathetic."

Armstrong hit back at the dig by Travis Tygart, the head of the US Anti-Doping Agency, that he is trying to find a route back to competing.

"That was Travis's stunt to make me look self-serving," Armstrong said. "When I met with him I told him: 'Yes, of course, I'd love to compete again. I'm a competitor.'" (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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