GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Lance Armstrong was doped for all of his Tour de France races, the cyclist told Oprah Winfrey, US television interviewer in a recorded show that was aired Thursday evening. The second half of the show airs Friday night, but the “did he or didn’t he” question that has plagued the sport for 13 years has now been irrefutably answered. Sports officials and many cyclists say the sport has long since moved on and is cleaner, but the fallout from the Armstrong story will continue, with those who may have helped him now in the crosshairs of legal battles.
Armstrong lost his 2000 bronze Olympic medal hours before the show aired, with Lausanne-based IOC (International Olympic Committee) saying that the three-week period for him to appeal a ban by the UCI (International Cycling Union) in Aigle, Switzerland was up.
UCI President Pat McQuaid said in a statement issued Thursday evening, “Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to confront his past is an important step forward on the long road to repairing the damage that has been caused to cycling and to restoring confidence in the sport.” He added, “Lance Armstrong also rightly said that cycling is a completely different sport today than it was 10 years ago. In particular the UCI’s introduction of the biological passport in 2008 – the first sports federation to do so – has made a real difference in the fight against doping.”
The UCI Thursday launched a new helpline on doping, for cyclists.