Lance Armstrong has added to the growing pressure on International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid by calling him “pathetic.”
The self-confessed drugs cheat claimed that the Irishman is primarily concerned with protecting his position as head of the world governing body rather than making any serious attempts at cleaning up the sport and that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), announced controversially by McQuaid on January 28, is just his latest attempt to save himself.
Armstrong also tried to take the credit for the idea of the TRC.
“It’s not the best way, it’s the only way,” Armstrong told cyclingnews.com today in his first interview since he admitted to doping throughout most of his career on Oprah Winfrey. “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. [I came to this conclusion] a long time ago. When I was on speaking terms with ol’ Pat McQuaid many, many months ago I said, ‘Pat, you better think bold here. ‘A full blown, global, Truth and Reconciliation Commission is our sports best solution.’ He wanted to hear nothing of it.”
Armstrong claimed that the reason McQuaid, who was called “deceitful” by World Anti-Doping Agency President (WADA) John Fahey, was originally against a TRC was because he knew it would implicate the UCI.”Pat is just in constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode,” said Armstrong. “Pathetic.”
Armstrong continued to try to justify his doping by claiming that other great champions of the sport had used banned drugs, including three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond, one of his fiercest critics.
”My generation was no different than any other,” said Armstrong. “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****** have competed for a century and all looked for advantages. From hopping on trains a 100 years ago to EPO (Erythropoietin) now. No generation was exempt or ‘clean’. Not [Eddy] Merckx, not [Bernard] Hinault, not LeMond, not [Fausto] Coppi, not [Felice] Gimondi, not [Miguel] Indurain, not [Jacques] Anquetil, not [Gino] Bartali, and not mine.”
Armstrong urged the TRC to not set limits on who they would ask to give evidence.
“It’s not my place to set the parameters but if you’re asking, I’d say that if you are alive today and you podiumed [in a 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.”
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