One of the on-going untruths regarding the Lance Armstrong affair is this is a new story. Not here it isn’t, 10 years ago David Walsh questioned Armstrong’s performances in the pages of out sister publication, Cycle Sport.

In a six-page feature Walsh cast doubt on on the American’s performances, his campaign against Christophe Bassons (who spoke out against drugs in 1999) and about Armstrong’s association with Doctor Michele Ferrari.

These facts are now well documented but back in August 2002 it was considered by many to be quite outrageous. The Walsh feature didn’t win us many friends but it wasn’t meant to, this was a turning point.

Lance had always been a bully but it had little to do with us until he tried to dictate who was allowed to write for our magazines. It was made very clear that if any of our journalists sat next to Walsh in press conferences, or worst of all, should any magazine print his words, then we would be ‘on the list.’

That meant we would be completely cut-off – no interviews, no nothing from the Armstrong camp. The Cycle Sport feature was commission as soon as I could reach David Walsh on the phone.

I was prepared for a backlash but not quite on this scale. We were labelled ‘Lance haters’ and angry readers deserted the magazine in droves. It certainly wasn’t good for sales but we had to print a counter view to the Lance lie. Today I am very pleased we did.
Robert Garbutt, Editor.

This article was first published in the October 18 issue of Cycling Weekly. You can also read our magazines on Zinio and download from the Apple store.

  • Sherry Osinga

    This man learned to lie from an early age. Progbably started about age 6,and I have my own ideas about mom’s profession and Lance’s parentage.By middle school there was plenty of well developed fantacey, roll playing and scripting… and off he goes, w/ mom as one of his cheerleaders. Wonder if he ever met his real Dad, because I bet he was in the background (still having an affair w/ mom), contributing some cash. How could he not for such a great progeny? From there on it’s a way of life, and just follow the dots. This was the pefect storm. Tour de France had been doping since it’s inception. He started 14 years hence….. and was so emotionally compromised, had no idea of the changing times. He was not the most astute boy . Awareness is not his forte.But I believe the testosterone romp may well be his forte….. perhaps like is father?

  • rich

    Lance has deceived a lot people and made a lot money out of it, if we don’t sort stuff out once and for all Sponsors are going to distance themselves from cycling, , We also need somebody like David Millar running the the UCI, who has experience of this and would know how to deal with it. The French new this from the start when Armstrong came, but everybody Laughed at them and Ridiculed them.

    I do think those people in the UCI that Knew about it need to step down and leave the sport.

  • Amanda

    At last. Jamie Staff has had the courage to come out and say what is pretty obvious, if we throw enough dirt at one person, everything else will go away.
    So Eric Deckers (Rabobank team manager) son has accused Armstrong of “destroying the sport I love so much” I assume Eric explained to him about Vinokourov, Virenque, Pantani, Zabel, Riis, Moreau, Ullrich, Chiappucci, Fignon, Delgado, Zoetemelk, Thevenet, Merckx, not to mention PDM, Festina, Telekom not to mention Rabobanks own history. I could go on. Yes many of them confessed but not before the were caught. Maybe Armstrong was the best at it, but that appears to be the way he is, he had the best equipment, the best coaches, the best training methods, so when he decided to dope he was going to be the best at that.
    They playing field was a lot less uneven than some people make out. Would Armstrong have won 7 tours if no-one had doped ? Probably. Yes there were clearly those who bravely chose not to dope, but were they really Grand Tour contenders ?
    I hope Armstrong does confess all (I bet there are a lot of people in cycling who hope he keeps quiet) then may be Pandora’s box really will be opened. You never know his lawyer’s could be doing a deal to spare him jail in return for a confession already.
    To Mr Decker jnr and the rest of the next generation – That was then, this is now, don’t look at the list above, Cavendish, Wiggins, Evans, Cancellara, Armitstead. Time to move on

  • Howie

    What do the British cycling fraternity want? ……………..Armstrong to come clean?
    Do me a favour! his best selling book will be a must read………………kerching!

  • pm

    If Walsh was so on the ball, I’m surprised there was never any mention of the doping exploits of the other teammates and everything was aimed at one man(correct me if I’m wrong).
    This isn’t all about one man, it’s about a whole sport rotten to the core, and some form of cheating taking place almost since its inception.
    Everyone is happy to be part of the circus and reap the benefits when all is good but look how quickly one changes when things start to become messy. It’s easy for one to stand here now and say “I told you so”.
    I find the smugness rather unpleasant and not very professional. Will there be any ‘counter views’?

  • Miki

    Before pointing Armstrong maybe someone should point themselves…
    searching for guilty is a good way to distract attention from fact that journalists
    are part of the cirque profiting from all of this and always palying innocent…

  • Ian R

    So LA doped, so did everyone else, and everyone knew it. you don’t believe so – why did the whole peleton mutiny on 24 July 1998 – why aren’t LA’s seven titles to be awarded to anyone else. Not only did they dope then, they always have. Scott Mercier claims doping at USPS pre-dated LA’s arrival. Legends of the sport have tested positive for various substances over the years. Hypothetically if blood samples had been kept for all riders back to the beginning of cycling who would bet their house against most of them being +ve for something. Despite all this The ‘bandwagon’ has gone after only one person. No wonder he was a bully when he had the chance.
    If he is to be stripped of his titles then who before Cadel Evans should keep theirs
    Our sport has a dirty history and what ever LA stands accused of, so does the history of cycling.
    People say he should confess, but no one in cycling seems willing to confess about its own history. He is between a rock and a hardplace over coming clean as it is probable he will go to prison if he does, and looks stupid if he doesn’t.
    There is now talk of an amnesty for everyone, what are the chances of it including LA, Slim to none I would think.
    I am not an LA apologist but I do think the same rules should apply to all

  • dave

    Are you a 5 year old child? Lance tried to bully us, give me a break. Your publications were at the forefront of the “i love lance” era, even though it was clear he was on the gear. You came to the party late-but at least you did come to your senses-but obviously you were not willing to forgo sales or dare to question the “fan boys”.

    So cut out the high and mighty attitude now as you are only jumping from one bandwagon to another. A little more questioning of Yates might also be a good idea as well…

  • Cherry

    What a comedy this whole debate is turning out to be. Apparently Lance is in denial because he can claim to have been tested wherever and whenever it’s been required and not failed. Of course this irrelevant fact shouldn’t be allowed to get in the way of what we really know to be the truth should it?

  • Ken Evans

    Please post the old Cycle Sport article on the CW website.

    Does CW sell the old Walsh book on LA ?
    (If not, does it have plans to in future ?)

  • Jon T

    I think Andy Sutcliffe (former editor of CW) summed it up well here–it-was-a-coverup–and-i-was-part-of-it-8209762.html

    Good on Walsh and CW/CS for fighting back eventually, but it had been going on for a long long time

  • David R

    Lance sold everyone a lie and is obviously in denial. Winning at all costs was the objective and if a journalist got in the way or jeopardised his position, then he would deal with them in threatening and often abusive ways. So much we know. The fact that you stood up to this is to be applauded and unfortunately now the general public have to shed their denial over Armstrong and all the others who are implicated in this unfortunate scenario, especially those at the UCI. Should the UCI even be allowed to continue in its current form? I am not so sure and their complicity during Armstrong’s ‘reign’ makes them culpable, however journalists should remain committed to their convictions and continue to be resolute in the face of bullying tactics that attack our freedom of speech.

  • pete

    Much as I love Cycling Weekly – I’ve bought every issue since 1969 – I have to say that your admirable stand didn’t stop you putting Lance on the cover virtually every week for about 8 years. Personally I knew the guy was juiced from about year 2000 – I therefore found it hard to stomach endless cover headlines such as “Train the Lance Way” or “The Secrets of Lance Armstrong’s Fitness” etc etc. I actually wrote to you at one point and said how nice it would be to see somebody like Nicole Cooke on the cover for a change!

    I don’t hold it against you, the truth is that Lance was an earner for many many people in the cycling world – and you have a business to run. Just don’t pretend you didn’t beome part of this cash-in.

    No offence intended as I’m sure you understand.

  • bikez

    If such accusations were untrue, what would you expect Lance’s reaction to be? Roger Hammond is on record as seeing nothing untoward and was not offered anything either when in Lance’s team.. Some “Jumping on Bandwagons” and “Kicking a man when down” spring to mind. Also seems that Cycling Weekly readers may not want to praise Lance or even conceive that innocent until PROVEN guilty has any relevance in this day and age!!

  • Frankie

    Great reporting and now is the time to vindicate David Walsh, Paul Kimmage, Greg Lemond and those who held their ground against this bad person.

  • ElCynico

    Vindicated. The Armstrong circus will continue to unravel. I think you can allow yourself to feel a little smug…

  • Paul B

    Is the feature going to be re-printed at any time?

  • Robin T

    Well done indeed. Now it’s Johan Bruyneel’s turn to face the music. Can’t wait.

  • Andrew Croft

    Yes CW/CS, you did stand with Walsh and were placed on the ‘list’. While there’s no place for smugness in this fiasco, you should be congratulated and perhaps better recognised for the stand you took.