Sunday, September 28, 2008

How to Undermine Ones Legacy... But Whose?

Former Tour de France champion Greg LeMond has claimed that he was threatened by fellow American Lance Armstrong for having criticised the seven-time race winner's association with a doctor implicated in doping affairs.
LeMond, who won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989, 1990, said that he had come under pressure from Armstrong and his circle of friends after saying in 2001 that he was disappointed at the Texan cyclist's association with Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari.
LeMond said Sunday that the threats continued after 2001.
"Lance threatened me. He threatened my wife, my business, my life," LeMond told French sports daily L'Equipe.
"His biggest threat consisted of saying that he (Armstrong) would find ten people to testify that I took EPO," said LeMond, who was the first American to win the Tour de France.
LeMond hit out at the international cycling union (UCI) for their failure to deal with the problem of doping.
"This problem goes beyond Armstrong. The Spanish scandal (operation "Puerto" which revealed a system of blood doping last month) is another example, the entire system is corrupt," said LeMond, who also referred to the Vrijman report, named after the expert commissioned by the UCI to probe the accusations of doping against Armstrong.
"The report should have come from the world anti-doping agency (WADA, who have criticised the report) or the French Ministry of Health. But it doesn't change anything if you catch a rider because Lance is now retired and it continues," added LeMond.
The 34-year-old Armstrong won seven straight Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005 before retiring last year.
Armstrong dismissed as untrue reports Saturday that he told a doctor treating him for cancer in 1996 that he had previously taken the banned blood booster EPO, testosterone, growth hormones and cortisone.

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