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Le Soir, Belgium

For Armstrong “Admissions
Are Not Enough”

Translated By Louis Standish

18 January 2013

Edited by Lau­ren Gerken

Belgium - Le Soir - Original Article (French)

Lance Armstrong acknowledged he's been doping for years. Does that change anything for him? For cycling? Stéphane Thirion answers your questions.

What did you take from the interview?

The interview was a letdown and there isn't any reason that the second part won't be as well. Armstrong didn't offer any answers to the important questions. The role of the the big doping organizer, Johan Bruyheel, at the heart of the U.S. Postal team and later the Discovery Channel team. The role of Dr. Michele Ferrari who is named in the file and involved in another case. It's hard to think that Armstrong acted alone in this, even with a good knowledge of medicine. His confessions don't help us understand why the tests were negative at the time.

Did the International Cycling Union protect Armstrong?

We have gotten nowhere with those questions. What could that change? Apologizing is not enough; we have to go to trial to get any answers. The verdict on the Puerto case will come at the end of January. In 2006, a Spanish doctor (Dr. Fuentes) was arrested and a list of his patients — which consisted of nothing but cyclists — was found. Maybe then, when we know what Fuentes did for most of the team, will we be able to understand how doping became organized into a collective plan. Italy has a full file on Michele Ferrari; we can hope that one day a trial will happen. Richard Virenque always denied it until he found himself in front of the judges...

A number of Internet users have been racked with cynicism since the interview.

He tricked us, duped us, at the moment when cycling most needed a clean figure and a beacon of hope. That was in 1999, a year after the Festina Affair. Using his cancer to get himself noticed, explaining himself in a cold television interview, without any emotion, and building up millions based on lies, I find that particularly abject.



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