Friday 25 May 2018

'Not on these terms' - Paul Kimmage responds to Lance Armstrong's offer of a Dublin showdown

Paul Kimmage
Paul Kimmage
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong
Armstrong in his final Tour de France
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has challenged Irish journalist Paul Kimmage to take over as chief interviewer for his appearance at the One Zero conference in Dublin next month.

Hugely respected Sunday Independent columnist Kimmage was a prominent figure in the long-running and exhaustive investigations that ended with Armstrong admitting he had taken drugs throughout his cycling career, including his seven Tour De France wins between 1999 and 2005.

Read more: 'He was once a dear, dear friend' - David Walsh responds to Paul Kimmage's criticism of his coverage of Team Sky

The American sporting icon was subsequently stripped of those titles after he confirmed he had used performance enhancing drugs to win each race, sparking what has been noted as one of the biggest falls from grace in sporting history.

Now Armstrong has been booked to take centre stage at the Dublin event next month, with confirmation of his appearance creating a surge of interest as he has agreed to talk openly about his career in an extended ‘no holds barred’ interview.

Read more: 'We had a screaming match': Paul Kimmage explains how his relationship with David Walsh broke down

While freelance writer Ewan MacKenna is currently booked to conduct the interview with Armstrong, the 45-year-old cancer surviving cyclist has made it clear that he would rather be interviewed by Kimmage after he offered up this tweet.

MacKenna quickly offered to step aside from his interviewing role for the event, before Kimmage made it clear that he was not ready to join Armstrong on stage for what would be a compelling event in the Irish capital.

Paul Kimmage
Paul Kimmage

It remains to be seen whether Armstrong and Kimmage can come to an agreement that will see them share a stage at the event on October 21, with the arrival of one of sport’s most toxic personalities on Irish soil certain to create an even bigger stir if one of his chief pursuers agrees to grill him in public.

Adding to the intrigue, Kimmage said that he would sit down with Armstrong, only 'not on these terms', before saying that the organisers should honour their commitment to MacKenna.

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