Sport

Cycling fans shell-shocked by Armstrong's confession

Lance Armstrong faces the cameras during his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Lance Armstrong faces the cameras during his interview with Oprah Winfrey. George Burns - Oprah Winfrey Network / Getty Images

LIKE millions around the world, Ipswich cycling figure Troy Dobinson was shell-shocked by Lance's Armstrong's confessions yesterday.

The fallen cycling idol laid bare what almost everyone suspected, but his diehard fans hoped might not be true.

But at the outset of the Oprah Winfrey interview, Armstrong said "yes" to questions about taking EPO, cortisone and testosterone and blood doping.

"I'm still getting my head around the whole thing," Mr Dobinson said two hours after the interview ended.

"It's a pretty numbing feeling to hear those words."

He has followed Armstrong from his early cycling, through his battle against cancer to his glorious Tour de France record and his cancer research fundraising work through his Livestrong charity.

Mr Dobinson's Yellow Jersey Bike Shop at East Ipswich was inspired by Armstrong's Tour wins and stocks mainly the Trek bikes Armstrong uses, but Mr Dobinson distinguishes between sportsman and humanitarian.

"He's got two sides - Lance the athlete and Lance the person and the things he did off the bike are totally the opposite to what he did on the bike. It's like two different people," he said.

"Nothing will stop me believing in what he's achieved; what he's done off the bike outweighs what he's achieved on the bike. He's helped a lot of people so I focus on that more than Lance the racer.

What he's done off the bike outweighs what he's achieved on the bike. He's helped a lot of people so I focus on that more than Lance the racer.

"My take on it is what Lance has done is wrong and in no way should it be condoned but to me it's more about what he's done off the bike. What he's done with Livestrong far outweighs a bike race; it's real people."

Nevertheless, he says he was shaken by Armstrong's confession but hoped cycling could move on from the shock.

"You can't look at what he's done and sweep it under the carpet. We don't endorse drugs in sport and never will," he said.

"A lot of people were lied to. He's lost a lot of people's respect and trust. It's like a bomb going off; the war is over and now it's time for the rebuilding phase."

It's like a bomb going off; the war is over and now it's time for the rebuilding phase.

 

Other Armstrong admissions included:

He started doping in the mid-90s.

He believed it was not humanly possible to win the Tour de France seven times in a row without doping.

It was "One big lie I repeated a lot of times."

His life was "this mythical perfect picture that wasn't true."

"All the blame and fault is on me."

"I didn't invent the culture but I didn't try to stop it."

"I was a bully; I tried to control the narrative."

"My cocktail was EPO, transfusions and testosterone."

"I wasn't afraid of getting caught."

"I didn't view it as cheating; I viewed it as a level playing field."

"Supporters, people who believed me have every reason to feel betrayed."

"I will spend the rest of my life trying to win back their trust."

Topics:  doping, lance armstrong, tour de france




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