Armstrong's drug-taking an 'open secret'

Published Friday, 18 January 2013
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A local man who raced against Lance Armstrong has told UTV Sport that fellow sportsmen knew the disgraced cyclist was using performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong's drug-taking an 'open secret'
Lance Armstong confesses all to Oprah Winfrey. (© George Burns/Oprah Winfrey Network)

Armstrong, a seven time Tour de France winner, finally admitted to having used banned drugs during a two-part interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The 41-year-old Texan told the media icon that he had used blood-boosting agent EPO, as well as taking testosterone, human growth hormone, cortisone and also admitted blood doping.

Previously, Armstrong had strenuously denied allegations of drug-taking, but Commonwealth bronze medallist David McCann said those who competed against him "knew exactly what was going on".

"We were trying to ride honestly and there's a guy cheating, in some ways, quite blatantly," he said.

"To see him getting caught is justice. It's what should've happened a long time ago."

This story was so perfect for so long ... You overcome the disease (cancer), you win the Tour de France seven times, you have a happy marriage, you have children. It's this mythic, perfect story and it wasn't true.

Lance Armstrong

McCann described Armstrong's drug-taking as "an open secret" and said drug use in the sport a decade ago was rampant.

"The speeds were just insane. I've had easier days trying to follow a motorbike than some of the riders that were doing the stuff that Lance was doing," said McCann.

"There were a lot of moments I wanted to quit the sport, and that just made me more angry that these cheaters were going to force me out of my own sport."

During Lance Armstrong's tell-all interview with Oprah, which was broadcast around the world on Friday, he told of his ruined cycling reputation,

"I'll spend the rest of my life trying to earn back trust and trying to apologise to people. For the rest of my life," said Armstrong.

But the cyclist admitted that, at the time, he didn't even view what he was doing as cheating.

"I looked up the definition of a cheat: to gain an advantage. I didn't view it that way. I viewed it as a level playing field," he said.

Armstrong has been stripped of his Tour titles and banned from sport for life.

However, Mr McCann told UTV Sport that taking banned substances has still paid off for Armstrong.

"The cheaters who do get caught will still be much richer than if they didn't cheat," he said.

© UTV News
Comments Comments
Ronnie in Newry wrote (740 days ago):
I am personally devastated by the revelations of the past few days. Lance, you were a hero to me. I defended you for years to anyone who dared to doubt you. I believed you when you denied being a user. I work in a cancer hospital and your books were practically mandatory training to our junior staff. I wore your wristband every day, i spent a fortune supporting your cause, and i had a photo of you in my office to inspire me when times got tough. Now I find out I was just another sucker who was taken in by a liar and a cheat. I'm embarrassed that I believed you, I thought I was a better judge of character than that. Today I removed my wristband, and took your photo down from my office wall. I have removed your books from my department and my home. You have no idea how much that pained me. I have no more heroes. I cannot continue to support anything connected with Livestrong. There are many many causes out there that aren't tainted in the way that organisation now is. They also do good work, fighting the fight. I wish you no ill, but I never thought I could be this hurt and let down by someone I never met.
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