Armstrong revelations cast cloud on Wiggins, Hoy and everyone else, admits British Cycling chief Brailsford
23:47 GMT, 11 October 2012
British Cycling head Dave Brailsford has admitted that Lance Armstrong’s emergence as a confirmed drugs cheat could lead the public to doubt the achievements of riders such as Bradley Wiggins and Sir Chris Hoy.
Brailsford is the man who masterminded Wiggins’s Tour de France triumph this year and led Team GB to eight gold medals in the London Olympics and the Beijing Games of 2008.
And although there is no suggestion that his riders are not clean, Brailsford admitted on Thursday night that the public now has the right to question every achievement they have witnessed in the sport in recent years.
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Dark: Bradley Wiggins achievements have had a shadow cast over them by the Lance Armstrong revelations
Competition: Wiggins (left) racing next to Lance Armstrong
‘We set this team up as clean and our job is to make them go faster,’ said Brailsford. ‘But some of the tentacles of the past are impacting. In cycling we’ve got a past, a present and a future. Generation EPO is now the past. We can’t deny it.
‘So when people see the huge advances we are making, because of what happened, it is understandable that people are sceptical. It is understandable now for people to look at any results in cycling and question them.
Doubts: Sir Chris Hoy is another great rider who may be unfairly tarnished by the revelations, says Dave Brailsford (below) with Roberto Mancini
‘It completely and utterly lost its way and I think it lost its moral compass. What we want to work towards is a future where there is no doubt, so that when someone moves performance forward nobody questions it.
‘I’ve been thinking about Armstrong a lot. The more you read, the more the jaw drops. But let’s accept it happened. Now we have the present. It’s up to us to change people’s views.’
The world of cycling — and sport in general — is still coming to terms with the fact that one of the greatest stories of triumph over adversity has been built on artificial substances and lies.
Disgraced: Armstrong's career achievements have been tarnished
USADA's reasoned decision
Click here to read the reasoned decision from the USADA
Armstrong’s recovery from cancer to
win the Tour de France seven times now counts for very little after a
report from the United States Anti-Doping Agency revealed hard evidence
that all of the 41-year-old’s triumphs came with the help of performance
Brailsford added: ‘I think there are plenty of people out there who saw this guy and what he did as an amazing achievement.
‘He is one of the first cyclists that maybe transcended the sport and became a hero beyond cycling.
‘It was an amazing thing and people got behind that. So to now find out what was behind it is, of course, disappointing.’
The achievements of British cyclists such as Wiggins and Hoy have inspired a new wave of athletes to take up the sport.
Hoy appealed to them to stick with cycling and implored them to use Wiggins — not Armstrong — as their role model.
Lying again: Armstrong has a medical test before the 2002 Tour
Shock, anger and revulsion
It sends a message that no matter what you have achieved and how you have done it — karma will come and get you
Mark Webber, F1 driver
We did our best to test and bring samples to labs according to rules, but I’m speechless about the systematic use
Martin Bruin, ex doping inspector
Sad to read about how Lance Armstrong cheated for so many years. So many people idolised him. It’s sad for sport
Dai Greene, 400m hurdles world champion
It’s what [these revelations] could do in terms of tarnishing the sport. It could put us all out of not just our jobs but doing what we love
Alex Dowsett, Team Sky rider
Important they are clamping down on that sort of thing. This is a negative thing for Lance but his books are great and you can still take a lot from them
Jenson Button, F1 driver
Revelations beyond depressing for those who love sport
Jonathan Edwards, Olympic triple jump gold medallist
Hoy said: ‘On the Tour de France every
day for three weeks you’re struggling with physical and mental
challenges. It’s an extremely arduous event, probably the most arduous
event in the world of sport.
‘Bradley Wiggins was frustrated during
the Tour de France and he had a couple of outbursts about it. But his
frustration is with the previous generation who have let down the
‘Bradley winning the Tour clean, that
has to be the inspiration for the next generation to see that this is
terrible. We’re not proud but it happened in the past and we’re moving
on. I think it’s the scale of it that’s really shocked people as well
as who it is. The number of people involved, it’s on a huge scale.
‘In that era, there were a lot of
people testing positive. The guys who were coming second and third
behind Lance were testing positive so there was an element of suspicion
surrounding him, but I always try and give people the benefit of the
One of the team-mates who testified
against Armstrong was Michael Barry, who admitted to doping while a
member of Armstrong’s US Postal Service team and who rode under
Brailsford for Team Sky from 2010 until his retirement this year.
Brailsford said: ‘During his time at
Team Sky, we have had absolutely no cause for concern. There has never
been any question in terms of his performances, his training, his
behaviour on the team. There have never been any issues. But ultimately
‘We set out with a zero-tolerance
policy, so we said that anyone who has had a doping conviction or proved
to have been involved in doping hasn’t got a place on Team Sky. That is
our policy. When you take someone you ask them a question and if
someone lies to you and you find out later it’s disappointing.’
LANCE ARMSTRONG FACTFILE
1971: Born September 18, in Dallas.
1991: Signs with Subaru-Montgomery and becomes US national amateur champion.
1993: Crowned US national champion. Wins first stage in Tour de France but fails to finish. Beats Miguel Indurain to win world championship.
1994: Wins Liege-Bastogne-Liege spring classic.
1996: October 2 – Diagnosed with testicular cancer. The disease later spreads through his whole body. Founds Lance Armstrong Foundation for Cancer.
1997: Declared cancer-free after brain surgery and chemotherapy. Signs with US Postal Service team after being dropped by Cofidis.
1998: Wins Tours of Holland and Luxembourg.
1999: Claims first Tour de France title, winning four stages.
2000: Wins second Tour. Secures time-trial bronze in Sydney Olympics.
2001: Victorious in Tour of Switzerland.
July 29: Becomes only the fifth rider to win three Tour de France titles in a row.
2002: Wins Dauphine Libere and Midi Libre.
July 28: Becomes only the fourth person to win four successive Tour de France titles.
2003: Equals the record of five victories in the Tour de France, but is pushed to his limit by German Jan Ullrich, who finishes just 61 seconds off the pace.
2004: July 25 – Clinches record sixth Tour de France victory.
2005: July 24 – Wins his seventh Tour de France, two more than anyone else, before retiring.
September 6 – Claims he is considering coming out of retirement after being angered by drug allegations against him.
2008: September 9 – Announces he will return to professional cycling and will attempt to win his eighth Tour de France in 2009.
2009: March 23 – Suffers a broken right collarbone when he crashes out on stage one of the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in Spain.
May – Appears in first Giro d'Italia, finishing 12th. Tour is somewhat marred by financial cloud over Armstrong's Astana team and the American is linked to a takeover.
June – Astana's financial issues are resolved and Armstrong is named in the Tour de France team, but with 2007 champion Alberto Contador of Spain as leader.
July – Contador and Armstrong endure a fractious relationship. Contador claims a second Tour title, while Armstrong finishes third. Armstrong announces he will launch his own squad in 2010, Team Radio Shack.
2010: January – Team Radio Shack make their debut at the Tour Down Under in Australia. Armstrong finishes 25th overall.
May – Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title for doping, launches allegations at the Texan.
June 28 – Announces that the 2010 Tour de France will be his last.
July – Finishes final Tour in 23rd place, 39 minutes and 20 seconds behind winner Contador.
2011: February 16 – Announces retirement for second time.
May – Forced to deny claims made by former team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance-enhancing drugs together.
2012: February 4 – An investigation into alleged doping by Armstrong is dropped by federal prosecutors in California.
June 13 – The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirm they have initiated legal proceedings over allegations of doping against Armstrong.
June 30 – The USADA confirm they will file formal doping charges against Armstrong.
July 9 – Armstrong files a lawsuit in a US federal court asking for a temporary restraining order against the agency. Armstrong also claims the USADA offered “corrupt inducements” to other cyclists to testify against him.
July 11 – Armstrong refiles lawsuit against the USADA after initial lawsuit was dismissed by a judge as being a “lengthy and bitter polemic”, designed to attract media attention and public sympathy.
August 20 – Armstrong's legal action against the USADA dismissed in court.
August 24 – Armstrong announces he will not fight the doping charges filed against him by the USADA, saying in a statement he is “finished with this nonsense” and insisting he is innocent. He is stripped of all his titles banned for life from cycling by USADA.
October 10 – USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him. The organisation say the US Postal Service team “ran the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen”, with “conclusive and undeniable proof” of a team-run doping conspiracy.
VIDEO: USADA explains drug test procedures