Thursday, 21 August 2014
Lance Armstrong Still Believes He Won 7 Tours de France
Disgraced American sports icon Lance Armstrong still believes he is a seven-time Tour de France champion, he said recently in an interview on "The Dan Patrick Show."
Patrick asked Armstrong if it was correct to introduce him as "the seven-time Tour winner."
"It depends, Dan, I don't know," Armstrong said. "When you just said that, it didn't even register."
Patrick asked, "Do you believe you are?"
"I do, I do," Armstrong said. "And I don't like arguing and fighting about it. But if you ask me if I feel that way, I say yes. But I know very well that there are many, many people that don't agree with that. I respect that, and I understand that. I do."
Patrick asked Armstrong if he could have won the world's greatest bike race without doping.
"Not in that era," Armstrong said.
Armstrong became the first person to win the Tour seven times, and he did so consecutively, from 1999 to 2005. From roughly the late 1980s to the mid-2000s, cycling was rampant with blood doping, mainly the use of EPO, and suffered from a lack of effective drug testing.
The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour titles in 2012, claiming "evidence shows beyond any doubt that the US Postal Service Pro Cycling Team ran the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen."
"Was it worth it?" Patrick asked Armstrong in part two of the interview.
Armstrong went on at some length in answering, but eventually said, "I don't know what I'd do if I had to go back there again .... I sure as hell hope others are not put in that position again."
According to CNN, he's still fighting with the U.S. Federal Government over its sponsorship of his former cycling team with "potential $100 million ramifications."
Armstrong's net worth, according to The New York Times, was estimated at $125 million in 2012.
In an interview with CNN on Tuesday, Armstrong said he needed to write a new book:
"I need to write a book and it needs to be pretty raw," says Armstrong, who claims he has not read any of the books about him, or watched any of the programs, since the post-Oprah fallout, describing them as a "cesspool."
"The book needs to be pretty intense and transparent. I need to 'boom' -- put it out there and let it sit. The sooner the better. It has to be the right book, the right tone and there has to be totally no bullshit."
Armstrong said the reactions he gets when he's out in public today are "positive." He owns two houses, one in Austin, Texas, and one in Aspen, Colorado. He has five kids and says he's been trying to stay fit and is a "crappy golfer."
A quote from Hunter S. Thompson is Armstrong's current Twitter bio: "Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously."