"You had a substance, EPO, that was so efficient and if they have an equivalent tomorrow that is undetectable, everyone would be on it.”

Lance Armstrong claims that if there was an undetectable performance enhancing drug available to cyclists in 2015 “everyone would be on it”.

The Texan, whose seven Tour de France victories were taken away after a USADA investigation proved that he had doped, told The Times’s Jeremy Whittle that he wasn’t a ringleader for doping during his time in the peloton.

He also claimed that doping would be as rife as it was during his years at the top of the sport if there was a drug, like EPO was, that is undetectable.

“I didn’t stand over my team-mates telling them to dope. That’s 100 per cent false,” he said. “The sport fostered that culture. You had a substance, EPO, that was so efficient and if they have an equivalent tomorrow that is undetectable, everyone would be on it.”

Armstrong retired after his seventh consecutive Tour victory in 2005, but returned to the peloton in 2009 to ride for Astana. During his brief return, Armstrong insists, he rode clean, although USADA and others believe he continued to dope.

>>> Lance Armstrong has not changed, claims US Government in pre-trial deposition

“USADA had three or four key messages to pound home – ‘the most sophisticated doping programme in history, the greatest fraud in the history of sport, Armstrong forced young men to put dangerous substances in their body’ – all of which is untrue,” he said.

“In 2009, and 2010, I did nothing. I have said that under oath. If there is a reliable test that absolutely works and they say, ‘Lance, give us your samples,’ then 100 per cent I’d be in favour. But they don’t want to do that because if I’m proven clean in 2009 and 2010, it works against their narrative.”

  • Nomad

    Everyone seems to blame Armstrong for the doping problem in cycling. If Danielson loses his appeal, it wouldn’t surprise me that he will somehow blame LA.

  • RS

    What is funny with Landis is that he blames Armstrong for making him dope, yet in 2006 when he was caught, LA was retired and Landis was riding for a different team (Phonak).

  • Oscar Martin Garrido

    Lance has provided enough rubbish over the last years. Now this. Go away! Don’t degenerate the sport anymore please! I can only speak about me, and I would never dope, because I love my sport. I love to compete, not to cheat!

  • nankani

    See he is still a loser.. everybody does it. Whaaaa

  • MrHaematocrit

    Lance did not raise millions for cancer, that’s a myth. The stated goal was to promote cancer awareness (is everyone aware of cancer?). Lance benefited more from Livestrong than anyone. Livestrong phased out hard science in 2005 and has not accepted research proposals since 2010


  • Wasmopolitan

    He is right, doping is the norm in elite sport, and the industry is OK with that, because drug cheats don’t get life bans, and get sued.

  • myrearwheel

    I would say there is more hypocrisy in how people are treated.
    Dope – get kicked out and then welcomed back with open arms a couple of years later

    Dope – and talk, and be a pariah.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Thanks, I’ve bookmarked it and I’ll watch it tomorrow.

  • Seems a bit rich for Lance to say there’s hypocrisy in cycling. Maybe we could get Kelly, Virenque and Merckx to add their opinions to this article to balance it out a bit?


  • Rob

    You can watch it on the BBC

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Correcting you:
    Does Christophe Bassons have a large house and vast income? No!
    Does Emma O’Reilly have a large house and vast income and her reputation untarnished? No!
    Did Frankie Andreu continue his career and get pro contracts? No!
    Did Greg Lemond keep his own-brand bicycle business? No!
    Lance cheated big-time – he’s paying.
    Lance did his best to harass and destroy those who got in his way – he hasn’t a single court procedure against him for that – go figure!

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    To do it properly, you’d need a pool of ten very similar ‘athletes’ doing the same coaching/training, some having microdoses, some having placebos. I haven’t read the article, but I’d be surprised if he could disprove ‘placebo effect’, or natural progression through structured coaching.
    Is he really proving you can’t be caught with microdosing (what if he’s tested two hours after?)
    Is he really proving microdosing improves performance 7%.
    If he’s no expert how did he determine the microdoses.
    Personally, I wouldn’t know what to purchase, where to purchase it, and how to make microdoses and take them. And I don’t want to know either.
    I think there’s a lot more pressure for pros NOT to dope nowadays compared to the culture that existed for decades.

  • elan

    Correct me if I am wrong but I notice that a lot of the so called ones that were bullied by Lance are financially doing okay out of it,and are still involved in cycling.Still have their large houses and vast incomes.And lets not forget,Lance has raised millions for cancer.Wonder if companies that made millions from us will return any money?Lance has done his time,give him his freedom back.They did it for all the others.

  • RIR fan

    Very true, and very well said.

  • Stevo

    Speak for yourself, mate. He wasn’t that great to watch. And the vast majority of cyclists and of humanity in general are not American and couldn’t care less about an American winning.

  • Stevo

    Not really. There is no reason to suppose this wonder drug would affect all riders equally. And regarding “as Lance says”, how many of the current riders does Mr Armstrong know? Has he asked them what they would do? What are his assertions based on? Not much, if the article is anything to go by.

  • In 2009-2010, the scrutiny around Lance Armstrong, was increasing, so to effectively quell the suspicions, Don Caitlin, was appointed to test him. Unfortunately, that never occurred. My thoughts are that Lance, was micro dosing. So, it’s “correct” to say he wasn’t positive in 09-10, as he wasn’t tested.
    Professional cyclists, regard “taking care of yourself” as a professional duty, so it’s not thought or considered as “cheating” it’s merely being professional, to “do your job” and it simply does not register as anything else.
    The same mindset is prevalent now as it was then.
    Lance, is correct in so far that, if a product exists, that changes the dynamic, then, the majority, would be chasing it.

  • Trevor Piper

    He is wrong. Read the very enlightening Brad McGee article How dopers stole the best years of my career for a very different take on what was happening in the peleton. Brad a multiple World Champion and an Olympic and Commonwealth Games medalist who has wore the TDF yellow jersey during LA times knows a thing or two more than you or I and has less of an agenda than does LA.

  • LaszloZoltan

    nah, man- take it for what it is- we enjoyed the moment as spectators- perhaps being inspired on our own rides afterwards- those moments we lived honestly. We have no part in Lances transgressions- his sins are his alone. Enjoy the memories as much as you should enjoy each day.
    Always, only take pride in your own achievements.

  • LaszloZoltan

    not entirely, even 2006 when Landis went nuts with the water he tried to not cross the line first and get tested, he swore at the other riders- but they didnt bite, they knew what was what – and let him hang himself.
    That. Was. Funny.

  • LaszloZoltan

    well given his legal circumstances, he has to publically take that position whether he believes it or not,

  • LaszloZoltan

    good point Chris

  • LaszloZoltan

    shut up legs ?

  • amisjihad

    The point I believe is and what I am about to reveal here I have never seen written anywhere. Lance Armstrong is an addict. He is addicted to winning or accomplishing a task at all costs and doping, in professional cycling, was what one had to do to win. Most and I am not saying all cyclists did the same thing, doped in some form, in that era but LA had all the physical and mental attributes to stand above and beyond others for this type of racing (grand tours). He appears to have all the traits of a good addict, denial, hiding what you are taking, mood swings, protect your sources, the list goes on. How do I know that I am right? Because I am (was) an addict and I did the exact same things. Yes he had a choice. Dope and win or don’t dope and be an also ran. I didn’t think LA and his win at all cost attitude had a choice.

  • amisjihad

    Or, anyone that didn’t dope couldn’t perform at the level required.

  • Chris Williams

    Just thought – if all take it as Lance says then it levels out – same as all not taking it ( if you see what I mean)

  • RIR fan

    What I remember is that for seven straight my years, three weeks in early summer I watched an American fly around France. Who wasn’t proud? And it was all a fraud. Sure, during those years almost all of them did it. But he was a fraud. They all were. Sad. M

  • Michael

    Indeed, the guy can’t even crash into a couple of cars without trying to lie and cheat about it. He just projects his own dishonesty onto everyone else.


  • Roger

    LOL Can’t help but turn out to be a conversation about Lance. Give him a break. No one is kept out of the any sports hall of fame for being a bully; or have their rings absconded. He was one of many and I don’t give a shit if he was an ass or not. Because he was he still was a great cyclist, furthered the sport in the states and made cancer his bitch. They took away his wins but couldn’t give them to anyone else because the sport was so rife with doping. Rock on Lance.

  • Kevin Gertz

    Ask the guy in the mirror. He’ll give you the answer

  • gbshaun

    It has been so rampant for so long in some sports that, if you’re going to enjoy the sport, you have to just watch it with a different attitude. I’m guessing that most NFL fans realize that every player is on steroids but just watch and enjoy the sport anyhow. It’s still a competition, just there may be more to it than you thought there was.

  • gbshaun

    I think he was stating a fact rather than making a threat. LA didn’t care if his team mates doped or not as long as they were performing on the day as strong as every other GC riders’ teammates. But by 2000 the fact was if you weren’t going to do a course of EPO then you wouldn’t be able to match the riders who did. Given there was no shortage of riders willing to dope, you’d effectively be wasting a spot on the team.

  • Rob

    I’ve just watched ‘Catch Me If You Can’ the guy got a 7% increase through microdosing without getting caught and he’s no expert.
    Let’s say a pro with doctors behind him gets even more. How does marginal gains overcome this deficit?

  • Martin P. Hoff

    Yes… of course he’s right… Just look at the vast number of athletes in endurance events that still try to cheat WITH the risk of getting caught. If there was an undetectable drug at least all of these would take it… and probably many more. I just saw the german documentary on doping in athletics (its free on youtube)… the sport is so rotten to the core I won’t be bothered watching the next world championships or olympics. Only reason doping (partially) stopped in cycling is because tests were developed to catch the cheaters. (In athletics they to a large extent havn’t even tried catching them.)

  • CSR

    Sad to say but I think he may not be entirely wrong. Not to try and justify it but as with his era, I think that it would only take a small number of dishonest riders to create the environment where the majority felt they had to dope to compete on a level field. This is why the sport has to police itself better than ever.

  • Stevo

    Must you? What do you know?

  • Stevo

    How many though? Versus how many who are now riding clean?

    He’s got a bit of a nerve, accusing several hundred riders of being prepared to cheat if given the opportunity.

  • jstevez

    As much as I dislike this guy I must admit he’s right.

  • Nic Lowe

    Why is anyone listening to the liar still ? Once a liar, always a liar. Also a bully and a cheat, so an all-round loser.

  • Alan59

    Lance , when I was diagnosed with Cancer you were my Hero ! It’s not that you doped , it’s the way you treated those around you !

  • Chris Williams

    What’s that scam letter doing in CW!!!!!!!
    On Lance subject – think he is right – people are still taking EPO and getting caught even they know there is a test – Astana anyone

  • Jay

    By his analogy, he thinks everyone would cheat to win if no one found out. He hasn’t changed a bit and still thinks everyone would cheat just like him. Sounds like he is still more resentful that he got caught rather than the fact that he cheated to win and in the process destroyed the lives of his adversaries.

  • dourscot

    “I didn’t stand over my team-mates telling them to dope.”

    Not according to Frankie Andreu. It is pretty clear that anyone who refused to dope had no future in his teams.

    Bit of history re-writing going on here.

  • Nigel Rue

    I still think Lance’s crime wasn’t so much that he doped, it was that he bullied and tried to destroy people.

  • markholds

    There are at least two differences now. First, even if there was an undetectable product (and maybe there is) cyclists know that there’s a good chance they will be found out in the future. Second, the people at the top of cycling seem to be keener than they were in Lance’s time to prevent cyclists from doping.