Three time Tour de France winner LeMond rejects notion of reducing Lance Armstrong's lifetime ban

Greg Lemond has dismissed the notion of reducing Lance Armstrong’s lifetime ban from cycling, saying that “if there’s anybody who deserves a ban, it’s this guy.”

The three-time Tour de France winner was speaking to the media at the Tour Down Under where he was asked about Armstrong, who LeMond has consistently accused of trying to tarnish his reputation as part of the cover-up of the use of performance enhancing drugs.

“We had a decent relationship,” said Lemond, “but since 2001 we’ve not had any relationship. I’m not one that holds a grudge but I’m also realistic with who I’m dealing with and he’s not really shown any remorse for what he’s done.”

“That’s not about doping but about what he’s done to people’s lives, destroyed them. He took a good 10 years out of my life.

“Cycling was my life and it was a major attempt to make sure that I was excluded from it. Even from the Tour de France at one point.”

LeMond remains the only American to have won the Tour, after Armstrong had his seven titles stripped after a USADA investigation in 2012. The Texan later admitted to systematic doping throughout all of his Tour wins in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

And Lemond says that it was more than the doping in the Armstrong case that earned him his lifetime ban, that has stopped him from riding in recent amateur cycling events including the  Gran Fondo Hincapie.

“If anyone deserves a life ban…. Ben Johnson got a life ban in 1988 and relative to that he wasn’t involved in the conspiracy to cover up stuff. I don’t think there’s ever been a cyclist who has ever been involved in that level of deception. It’s unfortunate,” said Lemond.

“What’s the point, so he can race amateur races?” he said when asked if Armstrongs ban should be reduced.

“He can do his own races. If there’s anyone who deserved a ban it’s this guy. Otherwise what’s the point in rules?”

  • Chuck Wood

    Armstrong was no Lemond

  • H.E. Pennypacker

    He’s as true a champion as we have, to be sure. But if you think he’s not bitter, I think you’re mistaken. It’s easy to see in many of his interviews on the subject. And I don’t begrudge him that. He has every right to be angry about what happened to him. That’s entirely reasonable.

  • H.E. Pennypacker

    He makes a valid point when he says “otherwise what’s the point of the rules.” But still…it’s LeMond.

    It would be much easier to believe he didn’t take PEDs to become a champion cyclist if he was something other than, you know, a champion cyclist.

  • athousandmonkeys

    SPOT ON! At least, unlike LeMond, Armstrong finally admitted what was truly going on, and the part he played in it.

  • jackobean

    If there’s anyone, maybe LeMond for not having the courage to admit his doping as well: he STILL holds the fastest time-trial record in the Tour! 26 years later, w/ far less aero bikes, less training protocols, less VO2 max…. Greg’s a chump.

  • eminusx

    Absolutely right Greg. After all that Armstrong did to LeMond, its humbling to see he isnt nasty or bitter, simply frank and still committed to working in the interest of the sport and others affected by Armstrongs disgraceful slurrs, lies and threats.

    A true champion in my eyes! Vive LeMond!

  • dourscot

    Well said Greg. Keep saying it so he doesn’t sneak back in.

  • Totally agree with you Greg.