Organiser of the Giro d'Italia reacts to news that Lance Armstrong is considering broadcasting his podcast from the opening stages of the Italian Grand Tour in May
Armstrong announced days after settling a €100-million US Federal court case for $5 million that he plans on recording his podcast on location at the Giro d’Italia and Tour of California in May.
“Lance Armstrong has not been invited by the organiser of the Giro d’Italia,” RCS Sport’s director Paolo Bellino told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“He is disqualified for life by the UCI and therefore cannot have roles in UCI events.”
Armstrong posted daily podcasts for the 2017 Tour de France from various spots in the US. However, pressure saw the Colorado Classic organiser cut a planned deal with him for its event in 2017. He continued, however, and recorded podcasts related to the event from a local wine bar.
The Texan, now 46, said that he plans on going to Israel for the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia.
“He cannot receive an accreditation from the organisation,” Bellino added.
“That’s how it is, and in fact, for cycling, he no longer exists. He is no longer part of our world.”
He could record his show from anywhere around the race, but not in official areas. As RCS Sport noted in a statement on Monday evening: “Anyone can watch a bike race from the roadside, outside of the official areas.”
In 2012, officials banned Armstrong for life after the US Anti-Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision. It showed he encouraged his team-mates’ drug use, helped them cover it up and used blood transfusions, EPO and testosterone. As part of the ban, he was stripped of his results including his seven Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005.
It is not clear yet if Armstrong would travel to Italy where the remainder of the 2018 Giro d’Italia will unfold. He also has plans to cover the Tour of California, from May 13 to 19.
“The chance to go Israel to cover an iconic event like the Tour of Italy is insane,” Armstrong said. “The Grand Tours like the Tour de France start in Holland, Belgium or Germany, but to go far from mainland Europe is pretty awesome and a unique opportunity.”
Armstrong’s position could change. He had talked of his enthusiasm to speak at the Tour of Flanders Business Academy ahead of the Belgian Monument last month.
The Tour of Flanders organiser came under pressure from every corner, including the UCI President David Lappartient. The same pressure saw the Colorado Classic organiser cancel its deal with Armstrong.