Armstrong's drug-taking an 'open secret'

Armstrong's drug-taking an 'open secret'

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, 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.


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