Local cycling club president shares thoughts
FILE - In this July 3, 2009 file photo, Lance Armstrong, as he prepares to leave for a training in Monaco ahead of the start of the 96th edition of the Tour de France cycling race. A U.S. investigation into allegations of doping in professional cycling has shifted its focus to France, and talks are scheduled with police officials and the French agency that has stored some of Lance Armstrong's urine samples. The French anti-doping agency plans to share everything it knows with the Americans, a French official said. The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to publicly discuss the meeting, which he said is scheduled for this week. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, file)
Embattled cyclist Lance Armstrong confessed Thursday to Oprah Winfrey that he had doped during his seven Tour de France victories.
“This story was so perfect for so long. It’s a myth, this perfect story, and it wasn’t true,” Armstrong told Winfrey.
Armstrong was at one time was an iconic figure for his seven Tour de France titles following a bout with cancer.
He has recently been embroiled in several lawsuits and had his titles stripped following allegations that he used performance-enhancing substances and blood transfusions.
His admission, regarded by some as overdue, was offset by his belief that he did not cheat.
“I went and looked up the definition of cheat ... and the definition is to gain an advantage on a rival or foe. I didn’t view it that way — I viewed it as a level playing field,” he said during the interview.
But others in the cycling community disagree.
“Personally, with respect to Lance Armstrong, he doped and doping is cheating,” said Jim Large, president of the Moose Jaw Pavers, the Friendly City’s cycling club. “He’s a cheater.”
Large said it’s unfortunate that Armstrong cheated because of everything he has done — both for the sport and for cancer research and awareness through the charity, Livestrong, that he founded.
“Armstrong did a huge service for cycling in North America in that he put it on the map (and) it was awesome he put cycling in the forefront,” said Large. “He did a lot of great things with his fame and did a lot of great things for cancer research and awareness ... but he is still a cheater.”
For more on this story, pick up a copy of tomorrow's Times-Herald.