Tag Archives: cyclists

We weren"t involved in doping, says former Liverpool star Sander Westerveld

EXCLUSIVE: We weren't involved in doping, says former Liverpool star Westerveld

By
Martha Kelner

PUBLISHED:

00:56 GMT, 10 February 2013

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UPDATED:

00:56 GMT, 10 February 2013

Former Liverpool star Sander Westerveld, who played for the top Spanish team now at the centre of doping allegations, has denied using any banned substances during his four years at Real Sociedad.

But the 38-year-old former Holland goalkeeper claimed that 'spaghetti and steak was not enough' to cope with the rigours of European football and he admitted taking permitted supplements.

Denial: Sander Westerveld has denied using any banned substances

Denial: Sander Westerveld has denied using any banned substances

Real Sociedad were plunged into controversy last week when a former president, Inaki Badiola, made allegations of a relationship between the club and 'doping doctor' Eufemiano Fuentes, currently on trial in Spain for breaking public health laws.

Fuentes is alleged to have overseen the doping of hundreds of sportsmen, most notably cyclists. He has also admitted working with unnamed footballers, boxers, tennis players and athletes.

Westerveld, who was at Anfield from 1999-2001 before joining Real Sociedad, where he played until 2005, claimed that permitted intravenous injections were given to aid players' recovery times after matches as a matter of course.

'It all depended on the fixtures and the amount of games you were playing,' said Westerveld.

'There is a lot of legal help you can get. It was routine but not every week. With Champions League football you sometimes had four games in 10 days and needed some extra help.

'You can't do that with only spaghetti and steaks – you need some vitamin injections and then, when the winter kicks in, you need a flu injection and maybe you have a blood test which shows you are lacking iron and you will have an iron injection.'

Westerveld said he is shocked by Badiola's claims that illegal drugs might have been used at the club.

'I will not put my hands into the fire and say doping didn't happen at Real Sociedad but I did not take anything illegal and I would be absolutely shocked if there was any truth to it,' he said.

'I was never given pills without being asked or knowing what they were. Every time you could see what it is. The only pills I took were caffeine, it was just like drinking cups of coffee and Red Bull. I had injections but only for vitamins to assist in recuperation.'

Sir Chris Hoy set to return to training in Australia after "grim" stomach virus

Hoy set to get back on track Down Under after trip to hospital with 'grim' stomach virus

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UPDATED:

21:39 GMT, 11 December 2012

Six-time Olympic champion Sir Chris Hoy will resume training this week after being hospitalised for 24 hours last weekend with a severe stomach virus.

The 36-year-old is currently training with a selection of British cyclists in Perth, Western Australia, as he considers whether to continue on until the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

The Scot arrived early last week and began to feel progressively worse with gastrointestinal problems before he was taken to hospital in Subiaco, Perth, on Saturday.

Weighing up his future: Sir Chris Hoy is in training in Perth, Western Australia

Weighing up his future: Sir Chris Hoy is in training in Perth, Western Australia

Hoy, one of 12 on the shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year, was discharged on Sunday after being given rehydration treatment and medication and he returned to the gym for a light session today.

'I'm glad to be getting better and almost feel back to normal now after a pretty grim few days,' Hoy, who is taking part in the Rotterdam Six Day event from January 3 to 8, said on his website.

'It's always frustrating when you're on a training camp and you can't train if you're injured or unwell.

'This is the first block of serious training I've done since the Games, but it could've happened at a far worse stage of the season though so it's not too much of a problem.

'It'll be good to get a solid couple of weeks training in before Christmas, and I'm really looking forward to racing in the first week of January in Rotterdam.'

Hoy added on his Twitter page: 'Had a rough weekend with a stomach virus, including a night in the hospital. Pleased to say I'm on the mend and back training now.'

Meanwhile, a World Series Cycling project featuring 10 grand prix races across the globe could be in place as soon as 2014.

What a summer: Hoy is back in full training for the first time since the Olympics

What a summer: Hoy is back in full training for the first time since the Olympics

The group are optimistic of successful negotiations with the UCI, the world governing body, over plans for 10 four-day events, which would run alongside the three Grand Tours – of Italy, France and Spain – and six of the established one-day races.

The grands prix would include a time-trial, rolling stage, mountain stage and sprint stage, with all events taking place from Thursday to Sunday. Jonathan Price, chairman of London-based sports promoters the Gifted Group, told Press Association Sport: “We want to see races up and running in 2014.

'We've already had discussions with broadcasters, we're confident there's a real appetite for this product.

'We're now going to start some serious discussions with potential host locations to get our first race up and running.'

After three and a half years of planning, WSC, registered as a company in Luxembourg, is close to implementation.

The first meeting with teams was held before the Tour de France in Rotterdam in 2010, with eight contracted teams confirmed yesterday as Garmin-Sharp, Liquigas-Cannondale, Movistar, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Rabobank Cycling Team, Radioshack-Nissan-Trek, Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and Vaconsoleil-DCM.

Financial backing is being provided by
Czech billionaire businessman Zdenek Bakala, who owns Mark Cavendish's
Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.

Pure gold: Hoy won two medals in London

Pure gold: Hoy won two medals in London

Bakala has led talks with the UCI since March, and, despite the world governing body being occupied by the ongoing fallout of the Lance Armstrong scandal, a conclusion to negotiations is close.

'We see this as something we wanted to do with them, because we believe it was something the marketplace wanted and was good for the sport,' Price added.

'Those discussions have been positive and I hope we're getting close now to a conclusion to them.

'Clearly they have a lot on their plate right now – that probably hasn't helped – but even against that backdrop the discussions have been positive.'

The structure can be compared to that of tennis, where the top male players feature in the ATP Masters 1000 events and the four grand slams, with the WTA Tour running alongside. In cycling, plans are similar, with a commitment for a parallel women's series.

The Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana would be part of the project alongside one-day races Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Amstel Gold Cup, Liege-Bastogne-Liege and Tour of Lombardy, with a points system to award the leading rider and team at the end of the season.

Riders would race a maximum of 88 days per season, while there is a commitment for an anti-doping programme in a bid to eradicate the use of performance-enhancing drugs from the sport.

Tour de France organisers the Amuary Sports Organisation, who also run races such as the Tour of Qatar and Paris-Nice, have not yet been consulted. It could be a potential stumbling block.

Price added: 'In terms of our 10 grands prix, we don't need any other race organiser on board. We no more need ASO's approval to do that than Coca-Cola needs Pepsi's approval to launch a new product.'

Price is confident a restructuring of cycling's calendar will only improve the sport, with many races on the current calendar struggling.

'Judgement has been passed on a lot of the other races,' he said.

'A lot of those races are dying and they're not dying because we've come up with a concept of a format that's driven by what television, sponsors and fans want.

'They're dying because the marketplace has cast judgement on them.

'If you want to progress as a sport and if you want to develop, you need to respond to what the marketplace want and if you don't you die.'

Meanwhile, Britons Geraint Thomas, Luke Rowe and Ian Stannard are part of Team Sky's seven-man squad for the season-opening Tour Down Under. Two-time Olympic team pursuit champion Thomas will race with Rowe and Stannard in Adelaide in January.

Charles van Commenee bemoans stars who reveal all in "boring books"

Britain's head coach quits and hits out at stars who reveal all in 'boring books'

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UPDATED:

20:24 GMT, 8 December 2012

The man whose ruthless leadership as Britain's head athletics coach helped Jessica Ennis and Mo Farah to Olympic glory has promised to resist spilling the beans on the controversies of his four-year reign.

Charles van Commenee, who will move back to Holland later this month after resigning his post as UK Athletics head coach because his team failed to meet their London 2012 medals target, roared with laughter as he said: 'I will take my secrets to the grave.'

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

Keeping mum: Van Commenee has turned down five book offers

The provocative 54-year-old Dutchman also delivered a parting swipe at athletes, including Ennis, who cash in on their fame by publishing what Van Commenee claims are 'boring' books.

And he has revealed the tough management decisions he took to give his stars their best chance of striking gold.

'I've had five offers to write a book,' said Van Commenee.

'But I promise you won't see one. They either become boring, a big ego document, or you reveal things and you look cheap. I can't see the point other than financial benefits.

'Who wants to read a book by an athlete You see pictures of them when they were babies or when they were 12. You read what their headteachers or their parents said to them or how important their coaches were and how hard they've worked. It's all the same.'

Asked if he had read Unbelievable, Ennis's autobiography, or recently published books by gold medal cyclists Victoria Pendleton and Bradley Wiggins, Van Commenee replied: 'I know what to expect, I don't need to.

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

Unbelievable: Jessica Ennis

'If I wrote a book, I'd have to break confidentiality because I can't help myself in that respect. I'd want to deliver quality. I can't write a book about having a nice coffee and pleasant conversation on the river bank on a rainy Monday morning.'

Two days before Christmas, Van Commenee will pack his belongings into the back of a friend's van and set sail on the final ferry to leave Harwich for the Hook of Holland that evening.

He arrived from Amsterdam to transform a flabby, disparate organisation after Britain won just four athletics medals in Beijing.

He leaves having overseen Super Saturday, the finest evening of British sport for almost half a century.

He helped to turn 25million of funding into six medals – including four golds and some historic moments – but half came from outside the traditional UK Athletics training centres of Loughborough and Lee Valley.

Van Commenee insists, however, that important decisions were taken to support Farah, who trained in Portland in the United States, and Ennis, who trained at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

'Sometimes you read, “Jess and Mo are not part of the system”, but that's incorrect,' insisted Van Comenee.

'In Jessica's case, I'm the line manager of her coach, Toni Minichiello. We direct medical support, UKA pay for the facility and I allocate the biomechanist and her massage therapist. For Mo, he had one exercise physiologist, a brilliant man there for 80 athletes.

'I sent him for almost half a year to Mo in the run-up to the Olympics, ordering him not to leave his shadow. That meant 79 athletes couldn't use him at the time. That's a management decision to increase the chance of Mo winning medals.

'We employ Toni full time to work with one athlete and it paid off, but it's quite exceptional. It was a calculated risk but it's proved to be the best decision and they both did a wonderful job.'

The head coach set a team target of eight Olympic medals, including one gold, and never considered staying in his reported 250,000-a-year role after that was not achieved.

'I'm a strong believer of having clear targets, and when one is not hit it should have consequences,' added Van Commenee.

'To remain in the job when other coaches are losing theirs would have betrayed the philosophy. It wouldn't have been right.'

Lance Armstrong sanctions ratified by UCI

Finally… UCI ratify Armstrong sanctions after years of ignorance over doping

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UPDATED:

11:15 GMT, 22 October 2012

Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after
the sport's world governing body, the UCI, accepted the findings of the
United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation.

Armstrong refused to co-operate with USADA, who earlier this month published
a 1,000-page report which concluded the Texan and his United States Postal
Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping
programme that sport has ever seen'.

In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code, the UCI had 21 days to
respond, until October 31, and president Pat McQuaid today announced the world
governing body would accept USADA's findings and ratified the sanctions imposed
on Armstrong.

It means the Texan has been stripped of all results since August 1, 1998 and
banned for life.

At a media conference in Geneva, McQuaid said: '(The UCI) will not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and it will recognise the sanctions that USADA has imposed.

'The UCI will ban Lance Armstrong from cycling and the UCI will strip him of his seven Tour de France titles. Lance Armstrong has no place in cycling.'

More to follow…

Shamed: Lance Armstrong, who finds out on Monday whether the USADA's report will be accepted by the UCI, spoke to participants at The Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin, Texas, on Sunday

Shamed: Lance Armstrong, who finds out on Monday whether the USADA's report will be accepted by the UCI, spoke to participants at The Livestrong Challenge Ride in Austin, Texas, on Sunday


Fanbase: University of Texas college football fans sport Livestrong, Armstrong's cancer-fighting charity, t-shirts during their cancer-awareness game

Fanbase: University of Texas college football fans sport Livestrong, Armstrong's cancer-fighting charity, t-shirts during their cancer-awareness game

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'

Banned: Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles by the USADA, but claims he was the victim of a 'witch hunt'


Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Support: Cyclists gathered to listen to Armstrong's address at the start of the annual Team Livestrong Challenge in Austin on Sunday

Rabobank ends cycling sponsorship

Rabobank rocks cycling as long-term sponsor withdraws backing, claiming sport is 'no longer clean and fair'

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UPDATED:

08:49 GMT, 19 October 2012

Dutch bank Rabobank will end their sponsorship of professional cycling from December 31 following the Lance Armstrong doping revelations.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency last week published an extensive report into allegations against Armstrong, concluding that he engaged in 'serial cheating' and his US Postal Service team ran 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

Bad sign: The Rabobank withdrawl is the latest blow to cycling on the back of the Lance Armstrong scandal

Bad sign: The Rabobank withdrawl is the latest blow to cycling on the back of the Lance Armstrong scandal

Bert Bruggink, a member of Rabobank's managing board, said: 'It is with pain in our heart, but for the bank this is an inevitable decision.

'We are no longer convinced that the international professional world of cycling can make this a clean and fair sport. We are not confident that this will change for the better in the foreseeable future.

'Cycling is a beautiful sport, which millions of Dutch people enjoy and a large number of those Dutch people are clients of Rabobank.

Beyond repair: The Lance Armstrong revelations have rocked professional cycling

Beyond repair: The Lance Armstrong revelations have rocked professional cycling

'But our decision stands: we are pulling out of professional cycling. It is painful. Not just for Rabobank, but especially for the enthusiasts and the cyclists who are not to blame in this.'

A statement on rabosport.com confirmed that the firm will continue with its sponsorship deals in amateur cycling but will sever ties with both their men's and women's professional teams.

The Rabobank team have accrued 23 Tour de France stage wins since their sponsorship began in 1996, most recently by Luis Leon Sanchez in Saint-Flour in 2011.

They looked set for overall victory in 2007 when Michael Rasmussen won nine stages, but the Dane was then withdrawn from the race and sacked by the team after lying about his whereabouts when he missed drug tests in the build-up to the tour.

Rasmussen served a two-year ban, returning in July 2009.

Downfall: Armstrong has been dropped by his own sponsors

Downfall: Armstrong has been dropped by his own sponsors

Denis Menchov won two Vuelta a Espana titles for the team, in 2005 and 2007, as well as the 2009 Giro d'Italia, while Sanchez won this year's Paris-Nice.

The Spaniard was part of a Tour de France squad this year which largely consisted of homegrown Dutch riders, along with Australian Mark Renshaw and Belgium's Maarten Wynants.

They finished 14th in the team standings with Steven Kruijswijk third in the race for the leading young rider's white jersey, Sanchez eighth in the points standings and Laurens ten Dam 28th in the general classification.

Their current women's team includes Marianne Vos, who won Olympic road race gold for Holland ahead of Great Britain's Lizzie Armitstead in London this summer.

The Rabobank statement added: 'Rabobank started its involvement in cycling 17 years ago, full of conviction and with a clear mission.

'Rabobank has expanded the cycling sponsorship during the course of the years to a complete package, from the men's and women's professional teams to the youth team and the cyclo cross.'

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

What Armstrong 'earned' in deals…

According to Forbes, Armstrong has a net worth of $125m. Sports
Illustrated data from 2004 and 2005 show Armstrong averaged $17m in
endorsements a year at the peak of his career. His total worth in
endorsements was worth $28m in 2007.
The
controversy means Armstrong is forecast to lose $50m in endorsements
over the next five years, in addition to the $7m he will have to pay
back annually during that time for past winnings.
He earns $150,000 per speaking engagement and does about 20 a year – they should be interesting now. Livestrong has raised over $470m for cancer research and distributed 84m wristbands worldwide.

Since the Armstrong scandal left a huge stain on cycling the Texan's downfall has been rapid.

First his long-term sponsors Nike pulled their backing with others following and he resigned as chairman of his Livestrong cancer charity on Wednesday.

Armstrong's shamed name is being wiped from US sports history as a quote that covered the walls of the US Olympic Training Centre was removed.

The quote from Armstrong's read: 'I was sure to come under heavy attack from my adversaries, but what they didn’t know was how specifically and hard I had trained for this part of the race. It was time to show them.'

The International Olympic Committee are considering stripping him of the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Games, a course of action that would involve rewriting their rule book to address cases more than eight years old.

Former England footballer Geoff Thomas, who was inspired by Armstrong to raise money for cancer charities through cycling, urged the Texan to come clean.

And sunglasses firm Oakley, another of Armstrong’s enduring commercial partners, said they were reviewing their involvement with the fallen idol. Trek Bicycle also terminated its contract with Armstrong.

Lance Armstrong quote removed from walls of US Olympic Centre

Wiped from history: Armstrong quote removed from walls of US training centre as shamed cyclist is dropped by sponsors

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UPDATED:

11:48 GMT, 18 October 2012

Lance Armstrong's shamed name is being wiped from US sports history as a quote that covered the walls of the US Olympic Training Centre was removed.

The quote from Armstrong's read: 'I was sure to come under heavy attack from my adversaries, but what they didn’t know was how specifically and hard I had trained for this part of the race. It was time to show them.'

Armstrong's dramatic fall from grace has seen a number of his sponsors drop him and he resigned as chairman of his Livestrong cancer charity on Wednesday as the maelstrom over his drug cheating left him more isolated than ever.

First, his long-time sponsors Nike finally gave in to the damning evidence of the cyclist’s illicit behaviour, published last week by the US Anti-Doping Agency, and withdrew their backing.

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

Wiped from history: A Lance Armstrong quote being taken down from US Olympic Training Centre

Timeline of Armstrong's downfall…

May 2010: Armstrong's former US Postal team-mate Floyd Landis launches allegations against the Texan.
May 2011: Forced to deny claims made by ex-team-mate Tyler Hamilton that they took performance enhancing drugs together.
February 2012: 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: 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 dismissed.
August 24: Armstrong announces he will not fight doping charges filed against him but insists he is innocent. He is stripped of his titles and banned from cycling for life by USADA.
October 10: USADA claim 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates have testified against him, revealing 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.
October 17: Armstrong resigns as chairman of his cancer charity, Livestrong, on the same day that he is dropped by sponsor Nike.

Second, the International Olympic
Committee are considering stripping him of the bronze medal he won at
the 2000 Sydney Games, a course of action that would involve rewriting
their rule book to address cases more than eight years old.

Third, former England footballer Geoff Thomas, who was inspired by Armstrong to raise money for cancer charities through cycling, urged the Texan to come clean.

Fourth, sunglasses firm Oakley, another of Armstrong’s enduring commercial partners, said they were reviewing their involvement with the fallen idol.

Late on Wednesday, Trek Bicycle also terminated its contract with Armstrong.

'Trek is disappointed by the findings
and conclusions in the USADA report regarding Lance Armstrong,' a statement read. 'Given the
determinations of the report, Trek today is terminating our long-term
relationship with Lance Armstrong. Trek will continue to support the
Livestrong Foundation and its efforts to combat cancer.'

In a sign of his weakening position, Armstrong handed over the leadership of his charity to vice-chairman Jeff Garvey, saying: ‘This organisation, its mission and its supporters are incredibly dear to my heart.

‘Today, therefore, to spare the foundation any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding my cycling career, I will conclude my chairmanship.’

It would have been difficult for the tarnished Armstrong to act as its public face or to carry moral sway.

He added: ‘As my cancer treatment was drawing to an end, I created a foundation to serve people affected by cancer. It has been a great privilege to help grow it from a dream into an organisation that has served 2.5million people and helped spur a cultural shift in how the world views cancer survivors. My family and I have devoted our lives to the work of the foundation and that will not change.

‘We will remain active advocates for cancer survivors and engaged supporters of the fight against cancer.’

The foundation spent 20m on cancer programmes last year.

The biggest external blow to Armstrong’s stance of denying all wrongdoing was the split from Nike. They had issued a statement as recently as seven days ago stating their total belief in Armstrong’s honesty.

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

Frehs twist: Nike and Livestrong have distanced themselves from Lance Armstrong

Backing: Armstrong had been a face of Nike since 1996

Backing: Armstrong had been a face of Nike since 1996

Nike Lance Armstrong 'LiveStrong' trainers

09 stages banner

Support: Nike Lance Armstrong 'LiveStrong' trainers (left) and charity banner (right)

What Armstrong 'earned' in deals…

According to Forbes, Armstrong has a net worth of $125m. Sports Illustrated data from 2004 and 2005 show Armstrong averaged $17m in endorsements a year at the peak of his career. His total worth in endorsements was worth $28m in 2007.
The controversy means Armstrong is forecast to lose $50m in endorsements over the next five years, in addition to the $7m he will have to pay back annually during that time for past winnings.
He earns $150,000 per speaking engagement and does about 20 a year – they should be interesting now. Livestrong has raised over $470m for cancer research and distributed 84m wristbands worldwide.

But on Wednesday the world’s biggest
sportswear manufacturer, who ‘vehemently deny’ paying bribes to the head
of cycling’s governing body, Hein Verbruggen, said: ‘Due to the
seemingly insurmountable evidence that Lance Armstrong participated in
doping and misled Nike for more than a decade, it is with great sadness
that we have terminated our contract with him.

‘Nike does not condone the use of illegal performance enhancing drugs in any manner. Nike plans to continue support of the Livestrong initiatives.’

Oakley were more equivocal, saying: ‘Oakley does not approve in any way the use of illegal substances for enhancing performance in sports.

‘Our policy with our athletes is to support them until proven guilty by the highest governing body of sport or court of law.

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

Suspicion: Lance Armstrong is checked up back in the 2003 Tour de France

‘We are reviewing the extensive report from the USADA, as well as our relationship with Lance, and will await final decision-making by the International Cycling Union (UCI).’

The IOC are also awaiting the UCI’s next move, which is not expected before October 31, the deadline by which they must respond to USADA’s findings.

There is a mood among some at the IOC to find a way to wipe out Armstrong’s Sydney time trial medal — a mere detail among the seven Tour de France titles he has been stripped of by WADA — and also to call to account officials within the UCI if they are found to have tolerated or indulged doping.

There remains the option to expel
cycling from the Olympic programme altogether but soundings from within
the IOC suggested that is a most unlikely outcome given the sport’s
significance to the movement.

Pressure on the UCI to prove they have cleaned up their act will be exerted instead.

Big backers: Nike have long supported Armstrong - on the road and off it

Big backers: Nike were supporters of Armstrong – on the road and off it

As for Armstrong, he is being called on to break the habit of a lifetime by confessing all. For now at least, he fiercely maintains his innocence.

The Armstrong scandal had taken a new twist on
Tuesday with the allegation that Nike paid $500,000 to the former head
of cycling’s world governing body, Hein Verbruggen, to cover up a
positive drugs test.

The company issued a statement saying they ‘vehemently
deny’ that they ‘paid former UCI president Verbruggen $500,000 to
cover up a positive drug test’.

It followed a report in the New York
Daily News that Kathy LeMond, wife of three-time Tour winner Greg,
testified under oath in 2006 that she was told by Armstrong’s mechanic,
Julien Devries, about the alleged donation in July 2000.

Watch the astonishing Nike advert with Lance Armstrong…

It is alleged the payment was made by
Nike and Thom Weisel, an American financier who helped set up
Armstrong’s team, and that it was paid into a Swiss bank account
belonging to Verbruggen, president of the UCI from 1991-2005, and now
UCI honorary president and an honorary member of the IOC.

Mrs LeMond confirmed to Sportsmail that her testimony in 2006 followed a conversation with
Devries in July 2000. At the time, Devries was working for Armstrong,
but he had worked with, and been close to, LeMond, who retired in 1994.

Mrs LeMond said that Devries told her
in 2000 that the payment came after Armstrong tested positive for
corticosteroids at the 1999 Tour. ‘Everything else Julien told us has
turned out to be accurate,’ said Mrs LeMond.

Axed: Matthew White

Sacked: Armstrong's former team-mate Matthew
White was axed by Cycling Australia on Tuesday after admitting doping
between 2001 and 2003

She originally revealed her
conversation with Devries during a 2006 deposition in Texas after
Armstrong filed a lawsuit against SCA, an insurance company who withheld
a $5million bonus because of doping allegations in the book L.A.
Confidentiel.

The LeMonds — among the first
high-profile people to go public with their suspicions that Armstrong
doped — were called to testify by SCA. In the event, SCA paid the bonus,
though they have intimated in the last week that they will seek to
reclaim the money.

A UCI spokesman insisted
they would say nothing about the Armstrong case until 31 October, which
is the deadline for their response to USADA’s ‘Reasoned Decision’
against Armstrong and his team, US Postal.

Lance Armstrong has ruined his sport – Daley Thompson

Despicable cheat Armstrong has shattered dreams and ruined his sport

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UPDATED:

21:46 GMT, 12 October 2012

Armstrong: No sign of contrition

Armstrong: No sign of contrition

We all want to believe that some people can fly. That’s why we love sport. But Lance Armstrong has shattered that illusion.

He has cheated sport – not just cycling – by committing the most sophisticated crime in sporting history.

I don’t know how he can sleep. When he was committing that kind of fraud, on that kind of scale, I just can’t get my head round how anybody could pretend it’s all OK.

Saying he was only doing it because so was everyone else is not a valid excuse. He’s got kids, too. How does he face them every day and not just burst into tears

This summer was brilliant for me because
my younger children have seen me involved in the Olympics and now they
understand how I feel about sport, why it matters and why I’m a sports
maniac. But I couldn’t face my 10-year-old if I had done all of the
things Armstrong has done.

He forced young professional cyclists to
get on his programme. It’s one thing doing it yourself but it’s another
surrounding yourself with good pros, forcing them to cheat and enticing
younger cyclists into your world.

Imagine that was your child. He’s 21 years old and he gets an opportunity of a lifetime to train with Armstrong. He’s got no chance. It’s so easy to fall into that trap because no-one wants – or dares – to speak out against the programme, so it’s allowed to fester.

It was almost the perfect crime and Armstrong nearly got away with it. He cheated on an industrial scale and it seems to me cycling’s governing body, the International Cycling Union, have been compliant in it. Why has it taken so long to catch him

Long chase: It has taken far too long to catch Armstrong

Long chase: It has taken far too long to catch Armstrong

This really concerns me. Why didn’t the
UCI report him They shouldn’t be overseeing the sport if they turned a
blind eye to what was going on, year after year. They just saw Armstrong
and his army of sponsors, how much money and profile he brought the
sport, and thought he was too big to kick out.

Someone needs to be made accountable. Cycling needs to have good people running it, now more than ever.

Lots of people knew but didn’t say anything. There are other people who need to pay some kind of price for this, too – not just the drug-takers.

I have to take my hat off to the US Anti-Doping Agency because – although I’ve said for many years their parent body, the World Anti-Doping Agency, isn’t fit for purpose – they have done a magnificent job. So have journalists such as Paul Kimmage and David Walsh.

What Armstrong did in cycling enabled him to help and inspire many people and that’s brilliant, but it was built on lies. For me, that overshadows everything he’s done away from sport.

Tainted: Armstrong's charity work is massively overshadowed

Tainted: Armstrong's charity work is massively overshadowed

I hope he’s remembered as a cheat and
not a hero. He might have earned tens of millions of dollars for himself
and his charity but it’s all been based on deception.

Yet there still doesn’t seem to be any sign of contrition. If Armstrong admitted it and started talking – if he showed he realises how wrong it all was – some would be prepared to forgive. But he’s so insistent he’s done nothing wrong. He was never a hero of mine, but it leaves me feeling flat.

Good people such as Britain’s Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and Team Sky general manager Dave Brailsford can help put cycling back up where it should be, but it will take time.

I would prefer to see Wiggins stay clean and perhaps go a bit slower than see those other frauds recording faster times. You might as well just let their chemists race instead.

What we want to see is endeavour by athletes; how far they can push themselves. If they can fly. It’s something pure, not artificial like Armstrong’s performances. He has not just cheated cycling, he has cheated sport.

Bradley Wiggins "shocked" at scale of "damning" evidence against Lance Armstrong

Wiggins 'shocked' at scale of 'damning' evidence against fallen idol Armstrong

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UPDATED:

17:36 GMT, 11 October 2012

Bradley Wiggins says he is 'shocked at the scale of the evidence' against Lance Armstrong, who has been described by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as 'a serial drugs cheat'.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA and banned from the sport for life after the organisation claimed, based partly on the evidence of 11 fellow cyclists, that he orchestrated 'the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen'.

The American denies all the allegations but Wiggins told Sky News: 'It's pretty damning stuff. It is pretty jaw-dropping the amount of people who have testified against him.

Cheat: Lance Armstrong was unmasked by USADA

Cheat: Lance Armstrong was unmasked by USADA

'It is certainly not a one-sided hatchet job, it is pretty damning. I am shocked at the scale of the evidence.

'I have been involved in pro cycling for a long time and I realise what it takes to train and win the Tour de France. I'm not surprised by it… I had a good idea what is going on.'

Cheating was said to be rife in cycling when Armstrong competed but Wiggins was not about to sympathise for the 41-year-old Texan.

Britain's first Tour de France winner continued: “Not really. My main concern is that I am standing here as the winner of the Tour de France after a summer where we have won how many Olympic gold medals I've lost count…

Shocked: Bradley Wiggins was amazed at the amount of evidence against Armstrong

Shocked: Bradley Wiggins was amazed at the amount of evidence against Armstrong

'We are the ones picking these pieces up. For me it is about moving forward and not looking back any more to what happened 10, 15 years ago.

'It always is (frustrating answering questions about drugs cheats). It is not something which sits easily. Everyone knows where we stand on that, it is about looking forward.

'We are one of the most successful sports for catching people. I don't think that is relevant to what we are doing today. What we are doing today is setting the example for our sport.'

London Paralympics 2012: David Weir goes for fourth gold medal

Weirwolf of London: The man they call 'The Animal' is going for his fourth gold medal of the Paralympics

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UPDATED:

19:57 GMT, 8 September 2012

David Weir, muscles popping, veins bulging, teeth bared and chest exposed, threatened to live up to his 'Weirwolf' nickname and burst clean through his vest.

The man they call 'The Animal' had completed the first part of a challenge set eight years ago by the woman he calls 'The Beast'.

David the Goliath: David Weir captures his third Paralympic gold medal in the Olympic Stadium

David the Goliath: David Weir captures his third Paralympic gold medal in the Olympic Stadium

After covering more than nine miles in seven days, he roared across the line for a third gold in the Olympic Stadium, a T54 800m title, to add to the 5,000m and 1,500m golds he won in the week.

The second part of the challenge begins at 11.30am today, as he wheels down The Mall to begin a 26.2-mile assault on the streets of London in the marathon.

If he wins, it would surely propel him above Bradley Wiggins, Jess Ennis and Mo Farah as the greatest achiever of this finest summer of sport.

Only then will Jenny Archer, a grandmother, coach and 'The Beast' behind his success, allow him to reflect upon his achievements.

'After his first gold I said, “one down, three to go”,' she revealed. 'Then it was, “two down, two to go”. And on Thursday I said, “you've done your job on the track, now for the road”.'

Archer is a relentless taskmistress. She has put in place a rigorous training regime, involving former professional cyclists as pacemakers and a back-up team of physiotherapists and sports psychologists, to ensure the man she first coached as an eight-year-old delivers on their pact.

Weir the best: David celebrates his gold in the the T54 800m with his girlfriend Emily

Weir the best: David celebrates his gold in the the T54 800m with his girlfriend Emily

'I've always kept an eye on his progress after getting him into sport as a kid,' said Archer.

'He came back to me just before the
Athens Paralympics where he won one bronze and I asked him what his
goals were. He said he wanted to be No1 in the world, break world
records, win gold medals, European titles and, most of all, to win in
London. I promised to take him there.

'I knew once he got the 5,000m [his first final, last Friday] out of the way he could win them all.'

Weir competed at the Atlanta Games in 1996 as a 17-year-old, finishing out of the medals in the 100m final.

The sparse crowds and lack of interest in Britain proved his undoing,
as he fell out of love with wheelchair racing, preferring to go
'clubbing with mates' at home in Wallingford, Oxfordshire.

Four years later, he sat on his sofa at home in tears watching Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson compete at the Sydney Games.

'Dave has natural talent,' said Archer. 'But he needed someone there to
push him and the only way to do it was to give him a kick up the
backside. I taught him a whole new way of thinking about his training. I
said, “if you want all this you'll have to change your outlook. You
have to come to Richmond Park at 7.30am and be out on the track until
half six at night. He has not wavered from his training once in eight
years.'

Archer is the queen of exercising change in athletes.

For 11 years she was fitness coach at Wimbledon FC, charged with bringing the 'Crazy Gang', including Dennis Wise and Vinnie Jones, under control.

'They called me a “Hitler” but all that work I made them do meant they won the FA Cup. I'm doing the same with Dave. He calls me “The Beast” because I'm there bringing out the best in him,' she said.

It is the speed work which Weir dreads so much – one training session a week includes 12 sets of 100m sprints – that has seen him prevail over one of the toughest fields in Paralympic athletics.

As he rounded the final bend of the 800m on Thursday, the Swiss racer Marcel Hug stuck with Weir.

But to howls from the British athletes watching and screams from 80,000 spectators, Weir produced a turbo-charged finish.

Hug, who has trailed in Weir's wake three times this week and will oppose him again in the marathon, is at a loss to explain his extra pace.

Marathon man: David Weir facing another test on Sunday

Marathon man: David Weir facing another test on Sunday

'I just couldn't do anything to beat him,' he said. 'He is so fast, so strong and the crowd were like an extra wind behind him. His chair is a different brand but the only real difference is that it was going quicker than mine. He just has a better way of attack. I don't know how he does it.'

Perhaps at 33, in the form of his life and with a dogged determination, he is simply unbeatable at the moment

'I don't know about that,' said Weir. 'The marathon is going to be tough. I've done the mileage to cover all those distances, but you can't train for these emotions.

'There's no way you can match it in training. You can't get your adrenaline up like it is when you're winning medals and down for your next competition, it's impossible.'

Weir has beaten most of his opposition in the marathon two or three times already in the last 10 days.

He is the man with the target on his back for good reason.

The Japanese tattoo on his chest, which translates as 'to win' may not be on display – he will wear new kit after a malfunction meant he crossed the line after his 800m final on Thursday with half a top – but he is out to conquer.

And after three eight-mile laps of central London and a 2.2-mile ring around St James' Park, he will return into the arms of his pregnant girlfriend Emily, his two children – and perhaps sporting immortality.

Marathon: T54 category, Starts 11.30, Sunday, The Mall

London 2012 Olympics: Victoria Pendleton hot pants

Pendleton will warm to task in hot pants as track cyclists prepare Olympics entrance

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UPDATED:

22:16 GMT, 29 July 2012

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LIVE RESULTS |
EVENT SCHEDULE |
MEDALS TABLE

They have not yet ridden at these Games, but Great Britain's track cyclists have already got one over their fierce rivals from Australia and France.

Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and every other member of the squad will wear individually-tailored, high-tech heating shorts before racing to warm their muscles to the optimum temperature.

The shorts, nicknamed ‘hot pants’ by the team, save the need for lengthy spells on the warm-up bike in the middle of the track, which can induce fatigue. In Hoy’s words, the kit leaves riders feeling ‘ready to race’.

Hot stuff: Pendleton and team-mates will benefit from the latest technology

Hot stuff: Pendleton and team-mates will benefit from the latest technology

Adidas also provide cycling gear for
Australia and France but this latest piece of technology will be
off-limits to them at London 2012. It was British Cycling’s marginal
gains scientists who approached adidas’s innovations department about
the idea and subsequently worked with them every step of the way.

Pendleton, hoping to win gold in the individual sprint, team sprint and keirin, said: ‘The hot pants, as they’ve been nicknamed by the team, help us keep warm during events. We can just put them on any time we’re in the middle, which means we don’t have to go on the bike as much.

‘We’ve had them for a couple of months now, since the worlds. We’ve been trying them out in training. They’re really good to use. They heat up almost instantaneously, you feel the temperature on your quads and hamstrings, and it really makes the difference.

‘As a sprinter I have lots of short events spread out through the day so it’s essential that my muscles maintain temperature. The zips mean you can take them off, literally at the last minute. You can actually cycle in them too, I’ve tried that.

All smiles: Team GB stars look relaxed ahead of beginning of their Games

All smiles: Team GB stars look relaxed ahead of beginning of their Games

‘As a team we talk about marginal gains a
lot. You’re making sure that every tiny detail is taken care of,
finding every advantage possible to make things run smoothly.’

Hoy added: ‘I have definitely been feeling the benefit. As soon as you get
them off, immediately before you do your standing start or flying
effort, your legs feel like they are ready to go. You feel like you did
at the end of the warm-up but not out of breath or fatigued from it. It
gets you in the optimum state for competition.’

The shorts extend from the calves to the quadriceps. They work in a similar manner to tyre warmers in Formula One.

Meares a cow That's a load of bull…

Victoria Pendleton laughed off a suggestion from an Australian reporter that her arch-rival Anna Meares is a ‘cow’.

‘Absolutely not,’ the 31-year-old replied, taken aback by the question, which the reporter conceded was ‘rather frank’.

Australian Meares is the biggest threat to Pendleton’s dream haul of three gold medals, in the individual pursuit, team pursuit and keirin.

Pendleton refused to stoke the fires, though, saying: ‘The whole rivalry thing between Anna Meares and me has been blown out of all proportion, it’s sensationalised to make it worse than it really is.’

A lightweight battery slots into a
pocket at the back and, at the flick of a switch, heats a series of
filaments which run over specific muscle groups. The core leg
temperature then rises almost instantly to 38C, leaving the rest of the
body unaffected.

The hot pants had their origins four years ago, when British Cycling’s marginal gains team, led by Jonathan Leeder, asked adidas whether they could help solve the issue of temperature stability in between races at the velodrome.

Extensive testing was carried out to ensure the right muscle groups were targeted and overheating was avoided before introducing them to the cyclists. They have used the shorts in training for the last eight weeks.

Udo Muller, from the adidas innovations team, was asked if Australian and French riders, such as gold-medal challengers Anna Meares and Gregory Bauge, would be annoyed they did not have such equipment.

Muller shrugged and said: 'It should encourage other countries to be a bit more proactive like the British.'