One year on and Lance Armstrong is looking for a way back.
It can’t be a coincidence that on the anniversary of the United Sates Anti-Doping Agency publishing the 200-page document that brought down the Texan, the rider stripped of seven Tour de France wins is courting publicity along with his former manager, Johan Bruyneel.
Armstrong has been talking with several journalists and has even been riding with staff from the American magazine, Velo News. Meanwhile, in London, Bruyneel has been putting his case to those who want to hear. Both argue they are being victimised – their crimes no worse than any other drugs cheat.
Surprisingly, there may even be a softening in attitude from USADA boss Travis Tygart. A new book, Wheelmen, reveals that Tygart was very concerned about Armstrong’s mental health last December, around the time he tried and failed to persuade Armstrong to give evidence.
He recently told the Times: “I can’t control the fact that our American cyclists entered a really dirty sporting culture, although they did Americanise it to a certain extent, made it more sophisticated, more professional and more successful when they were in it.
“Make no mistake, they walked into a culture that existed well before they arrived as the US Postal team.”
Tygart, however, doesn’t hold back regarding former UCI chief Pat McQuaid. “The fact that the president who oversaw the sport during this dirty, corrupt period is gone – I think this is a huge victory for clean athletes,” he says.
This article was first published in the October 24 issue of Cycling Weekly. Read Cycling Weekly magazine on the day of release where ever you are in the world International digital edition, UK digital edition. And if you like us, rate us!