January 18, 2013

Reaction to Lance Armstrong's Oprah interview

The Associated Press

Some reaction to Lance Armstrong's admission in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career:

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"Tonight, Lance Armstrong finally acknowledged that his cycling career was built on a powerful combination of doping and deceit. His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction. But if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes, he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities." — Travis Tygart, head of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency.

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"He was wrong, he cheated and there was no excuse for what he did. If he was looking for redemption, he didn't succeed in getting that." — John Fahey, president of the World Anti-Doping Agency.

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"We at the LIVESTRONG Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us. Earlier this week, Lance apologized to our staff and we accepted his apology in order to move on and chart a strong, independent course. We look forward to devoting our full energy to our mission of helping people not only fight and survive cancer, but also thrive in life after cancer." — Official statement from the Livestrong Foundation, founded by Armstrong in 1997.

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"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." — UCI President Pat McQuaid.

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"He's gone halfway, he's told us he took drugs, he's told us how long he took drugs. He swears categorically he's never taken drugs since '05, since his comeback period. But that's all behind us now. Where did he get the drugs from? Where did all the big money go to pay for those drugs? Because it's very, very expensive to buy EPO. Who gave him the knowhow, the wherewithal to do it?" — Cycling commentator Phil Liggett to the Australian Broadcasting Corp.

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"It didn't go far enough. ... He has to name names. ... He is probably the biggest cheat sport has ever known." — David Walsh, a long-time Armstrong critic, to the BBC.

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"He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. " — Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open.

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"I don't want to waste any more of my time with Lance Armstrong. He's an incredible actor and that's what you (saw) today on the Oprah Winfrey Show." — Former Armstrong mechanic and assistant Mike Anderson, who had to battle legal action after accusing the Texan of drug use.

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"After years of lying to my face, Lance Armstrong apologizes in an email. He can keep it." — Veteran sports writer Rick Reilly, via Twitter.

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"I commend Lance Armstrong for courageously coming forward, but I am disappointed that he let down the sport and his fans." — Former Los Angeles Lakers star Magic Johnson, via Twitter.

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"The problem with people like Lance, or any other drug cheat, is that they think everyone else is doing it so they have to do it. In fact not everyone else is doing it." — Two-time Tour de France stage winner Robbie McEwen at the Tour Down Under.

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