Former cycling star Lance Armstrong remains defiant in the face of the Tour de France stripping him of seven titles over charges of doping. Armstrong feels that he earned those titles and his competitors know it.
During the Tuesday interview on the Dan Patrick Show, Armstrong reveals that he essentially lived in fear that his use of performance enhancing drugs would eventually come out, but he also noted that nearly everyone at his competition level used the drugs.
The host pointed out that Armstrong’s social media accounts still refers to him as a seven-time winner of the Tour de France and asked Armstrong if that was the right thing for him to do in light of the fact that he was stripped of those titles.
“I know that’s a polarizing subject question, and it’s certainly polarizing for me to have that on there,” he said.
But he also maintained that he was still the winner of those titles.
“I think the 200 guys that took that start line, all of those seven years, I think if we went and asked those guys who won the races, they would tell you who won the races,” Armstrong said. “I think it’s unfair, and it’s a real injustice to the sport and to the event to not have a winner. As unfortunate and as messy of a time as it was, it just was what it was. I’m terribly sorry for the people that are literally pissed off and disappointed by that, but I think my competitors would agree that I won those races. And I agree with them.”
Still Armstrong seemed to excuse his use of PEDs by pointing out that if he hadn’t he couldn’t have competed with all those who did.
“I’m not trying to excuse what me or an entire generation did, but more and more, I think that’s pretty well-known,” the former champion said. “We came across an era where the PEDs that were available were so beneficial and so advantageous that if you didn’t gear up, it was going to be hard to stick around.”
“When I flew over to Europe in the early ’90s, I thought, this is cool, I’m a tough kid from Plano, Texas. I’m going to work hard and kick these guys’ asses. Within a year or two, it did look different. I thought, OK, I’m not going home. I’m staying, and I’m fighting.”
Armstrong did say that he thought it was possible to surpass his own record without cheating.
“But don’t we all evolve? Look at the case of Justin Gatlin,”Armstong said. “He’s tested positive two or three times. He’s now back on the track. He’s probably being tested 82 times a day. He has the fastest time in the world in the 100-meter dash this year. He’s the favorite for a gold medal. So, I don’t know. Did he just find a way to do it clean? Let’s hope so.”
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