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Friday, 28 June 2013

Lance Armstrong says it's impossible to win the Tour de France without drugs - he should know!

Isn't it just what the world needed - and in particular that of cycling?

On the day before the 100th Tour de France begins, Le Monde has published an interview with the race's biggest cheat (well the most publicised one at least) and liar (ditto).

The man in question of course is Lance Armstrong.

(screenshot from Disney film)

There's no need to go into the history of the man, his seven now-tainted wins of the Tour, the constant denials of drug taking and eventual admission or his deserved stripping of the titles he had "won".

That's all well-chronicled elsewhere.

But proving surely that Armstrong somehow believes none of the blame lies with him, here are some of the things Armstrong says in the interview, about the race.

"I didn’t invent doping," he told the paper.

"And it didn't end with me. I just participated in a system that already existed."

Yeah well.

He might be right.

But those are not exactly the words of contrition you would expect from a man who brought disgrace to the sport in the manner in which he constantly avoided telling the truth.

But there's more in his exercise of "justifying" his behaviour or lack of guilt.

“It’s impossible to win the Tour de France without doping because the Tour is an endurance test in which oxygen is a deciding factor," Armstrong said, adding that EPO was decisive for the race just as it was for long distance running.

Way to go! Now let's do a little deflection, shall we? And while we're about it, let's tarnish the reputation of other sportsmen and women based on your in depth knowledge of what it takes to "win".

Bravo M. Armstrong.

On former French rider Laurent Jalabert who had to step down as France 2 television and radio pundit for this year's Tour after doping allegations emerged earlier this week, Armstrong has some "comforting" words.

"Ah, Jaja. With all the respect I have for him, he's in the process of lying."

Congratulations M. Armstrong. You are an expert on the practice.

And finally on the former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (huh?), Armstrong said, "I really appreciate Sarko as a man. When I say this, it's not a political statement. It's just a personal opinion. He has always been cool to me."

No, it's not really clear what relevance that particular comment has to anything, but it was included in the interview.

If you want to read excerpts (in French) or the whole interview, then click here and here (for subscribers) respectively.

But there again, maybe you've far better things to do...

The 100th edition of the Tour de France will get underway on Saturday on  Corsica - a fitting tribute as it'll be the first time in its history that it has visited the French Mediterranean island.

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