Lance Armstrong says Tour de France wins were 'impossible' without doping
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The day before the 100th Tour de France begins in Corsica, Lance Armstrong, the spectre from its past, resurfaced, rattling his chains. he stated that he felt in his racing days it was impossible to win the Tour without doping
"The Tour is an endurance event where oxygen [transmission] is a determining factor. To take one example, EPO won't help a sprinter win a 100m race, but it could be decisive for a 10,000m runner. That's obvious."
Armstrong's choice of media raised a wry smile, because in the days when he divided the media into the virtuous and the trolls, the French paper was firmly on the blacklist. But there will have been few smiles among the race organisers; the buildup to the 100th race has already seen controversy as the French star Laurent Jalabert was revealed to have tested positive in a retrospective test for EPO from the 1998 race.
Armstrong repeated his calls for a "truth and reconciliation" process within cycling, the implication being that he wants his misdeeds to be put in the context of a sport where cheating was commonplace. The former seven-times Tour winner stated that the "reasoned decision" by which the US Anti-Doping Agency addressed his doping years "did not draw a true picture of cycling from the end of the 1980s to the present day. It succeeded perfectly in destroying one man's life, but didn't benefit cycling at all."
Since , where he accepted the findings of the Usada report, Armstrong has – in his occasional utterances – attempted to paint himself as the sole victim in a world where doping is widespread, and he repeated that in Le Monde. "I didn't invent doping. And it didn't stop when I stopped. I simply participated in a system. I am a human being. Doping has existed since antiquity and will always carry on."
Asked what his daily life consists of since his fall from grace, Armstrong said: "I get up, I drink coffee, I read the paper, I have breakfast, I go out on my bike and train. I come home, I have lunch with the kids, then I spend the rest of the day in meetings, playing golf or in the park with the kids. And about 5pm, I open a nice cold beer and I think."