Arm­strong: Life ‘sucks’ since ban

Nelson Mail - - Sport - Scott Gleeson

Disgraced for­mer cy­clist Lance Arm­strong said he’ll spend the ‘‘rest of his life’’ try­ing to make amends to the peo­ple he let down and who view him as a fraud af­ter pub­licly ad­mit­ting to blood dop­ing six years ago.

Arm­strong also said the last six years of his life have ‘‘re­ally sucked’’ as he’s dealt with the fall­out.

‘‘It’s been ter­ri­ble,’’ Arm­strong said in a To­day show in­ter­view that aired yesterday.

Arm­strong was banned from com­pet­i­tive sanc­tioned cy­cling for life in 2012 and stripped of his seven Tour de France ti­tles, which he won from 1999 to 2005.

He pub­licly de­nied ever dop­ing for more than a decade be­fore ad­mit­ting to an ex­ten­sive use of per­for­mance-en­hanc­ing drugs in a 2013 in­ter­view with Oprah Win­frey.

‘‘That in­ter­view came at an in­ter­est­ing time, at a dif­fi­cult time, and in a lot of ways maybe came too soon,’’ Arm­strong said of com­ing clean to Oprah.

‘‘I don’t think it worked. I think it ab­so­lutely did not work. For half of the room, it wasn’t enough. Then for the other half of the room, it was way too much.’’

Arm­strong, a cancer sur­vivor, cen­tred his re­morse around those he lied to within the Live­strong com­mu­nity. The non-profit foun­da­tion was formed by Arm­strong in 1997 to raise funds in the fight against cancer.

‘‘Fraud, be­trayal, all of those things that we know peo­ple felt, that’s on me,’’ Arm­strong said, adding he’ll go the rest of his life ‘‘try­ing to make that right’’.

Arm­strong main­tained a long-time stance that his dop­ing was part of a larger scheme in cy­cling and that he’s been cast as the scape­goat.

‘‘What I would rather do is go back and win seven [Tours] in a row against ev­ery­one else who’s drink­ing wa­ter and eat­ing bread,’’ Arm­strong said. ‘‘That’s what I would want. That’s what I be­lieve would hap­pen.’’

In the in­ter­view yesterday, Arm­strong was asked about a tweet from six years ago in which now US pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump crit­i­cised him and said he’d be re­mem­bered as a fail­ure.

To that, Arm­strong replied: ‘‘This was six years ago. Don­ald Trump was just a loud-mouth out try­ing to get at­ten­tion. He’s half right. He’s go­ing to cost him­self a lot of money.

‘‘We know that hap­pened. And a life­time of fail­ure. But I don’t feel like a fail­ure. And I’ve never felt like a fail­ure since then.’’

Arm­strong re­it­er­ated a point he made ear­lier this sum­mer in which he ques­tioned why for­mer base­ball star Alex Ro­driquez was pub­licly for­given much more af­ter be­ing sus­pended for a sea­son for us­ing PEDs.

Arm­strong said: ‘‘A-Rod didn’t raise half a bil­lion dol­lars and try to save a bunch of peo­ple’s lives. That’s the irony in this.’’ – USA To­day

GETTY IM­AGES

‘‘Fraud, be­trayal, all of those things that we know peo­ple felt, that’s on me,’’ Lance Arm­strong said of his dop­ing ad­mis­sion.

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