Reactions to Armstrong’s revelations
TRAVIS TYGART, United States Anti-Doping Agency chief: “His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction.
“But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
PAT McQUAID, INTERNATIONAL CYCLING UNION president: “The UCI welcomes Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to come clean and to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, in the first part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“We note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”
LIVESTRONG, cancer foundation set up by Armstrong: “We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us.
“Even in the wake of our disappointment, we also express our gratitude to Lance as a survivor for the drive, devotion and spirit he brought to serving cancer patients and the entire cancer community.”
The IOC: “There can be no place for doping in sport and the IOC unreservedly condemns the actions of Lance Armstrong and all those who seek an unfair advantage against their fellow competitors by taking drugs.
“This is indeed a very sad day for sport but there is a positive side if these revelations can begin to draw a line under previous practices.
“We now urge Armstrong to present all the evidence he has to the appropriate anti-doping authorities so that we can bring an end to this dark episode and move forward, stronger and cleaner.”
EMMA O’REILLY, Armstrong’s former masseuse who was sued by the rider after speaking out about his doping, told British television channel ITV: “I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were as comfortable with cheating as Lance was. “And you could see when he went over to the ‘dark side’ personalities change – and it was an awful shame.”
JEFF TILLOTSON, lawyer for SCA Promotions which paid Armstrong $12 million in bonus money for Tour de France wins: “Lance Armstrong’s statements were jaw-dropping to my clients, because he basically admitted that everything he told us in his sworn deposition was untrue … He doesn’t deserve, and is not entitled to, that money.”
JONATHAN VAUGHTERS, former team mate of Armstrong: “It was a good first step. I’m glad he said he would testify to truth and reconciliation.”
NICOLE COOKE, British 2008 Olympic road race champion: “Lance Armstrong was living in his own horrible world. He’s got no morals and he’s a disgusting human being. The sad thing is there were clean riders who had livelihoods and careers stolen from them by Lance and we’re probably not going to see those people vindicated in any way through this.”
BETSY ANDREU, wife of former Armstrong team mate Frankie and who had previously said she had heard the disgraced rider confess to doctors that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs: “He could have come clean, he owed it to me, he owed it to the sport that he destroyed. The hospital is where it all started. If he wants a shot of redemption here, he’s dropping the ball.”
DAVID WALSH, Sunday Times journalist and author who has battled to expose Armstrong’s doping and who was sued by Armstrong: “The Sunday Times will be looking for around $2 million back from Armstrong, he should pay that back now straight up no questions because the Sunday Times were the one newspaper at that time asking the right questions. The Sunday Times are saying now ‘Lance, you admit you doped, give us our money back, do the fair thing, if you don’t do the fair thing we will go all the way to get our money back’.”
PIERRE BALLESTER, co-author of “LA Confidential” with David Walsh: “It is unimaginable to think that there was a generalised system of doping in his team without the help or involvement of other institutions or protagonists. So he benefited from protection. He didn’t reveal them. I think that all this was negotiated ahead of this Hollywood show to protect his back and possibly to save his foundation.”
BRIAN COOKSON, British Cycling president: “I don’t think he’s sorry. I think he’s just sorry he got caught.”
STUART O’GRADY, former Tour de France stage winner: “Lance deceived everybody on the planet, us included. Obviously we all wanted to believe also he was winning the Tours clean. We are all athletes suffering through the mountains and you’d like to think that he was just training harder and working harder than we all were.”But now it’s all come out, (I am) deceived, annoyed, frustrated.”
TONY DOYLE, British former cyclist: “No one is more amazed or staggered with the revelations that have come out. I completely bought into the Lance Armstrong story, his story on how he overcame the cancer, and everything that went with that. I got to know Lance fairly well, and I’m amazed by the extent of deceit that’s been going on.”
ANDY PARKINSON, UK Anti-Doping CEO: “I’ve been in front of athletes who have been ashamed of what they have done in the past and this didn’t ring in the same way to me. From what I can see I this is an action that has been forced on him rather than he has come forward. The point he makes about winning the Tour de France you have to cheat is bemusing because he was the winner for seven years and of course you had to cheat because he was cheating.”
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, tennis world number one: “I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this. He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it’s not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It’s just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.”†
ROBBIE MCEWEN, retired Australian Tour de France star: “It’s changed everyone’s opinion of him. Everyone wanted to believe in the hero, the fairytale story. I don’t think there’s a person on the planet who even remotely follows cycling who hasn’t changed their opinion of what we thought Lance was.”
PHIL LIGGETT, veteran cycling commentator who used to strongly support Armstrong: “It was not a deep and sincere apology if that’s what we were looking for. He has to name names. He doesn’t seem to realise the incredulous crime he’s committed.”
LEIGH SALES, ABC television presenter: “I’ve watched enough. That was depressing. I’ve rarely seen such a soulless psychopath.