Former head of UCI anti-doping claims he was clean in 2009
Lance Armstrong's partial confession to doping during his interview with Oprah Winfrey sparked varied reactions and comment but one of the harshest has come from Anne Gripper -the former head of anti-doping at the UCI, who has described the disgraced Texan as "a pathological liar."
Armstrong said he hopes to return to competition but Gripper, now the head of Triathlon Australia, said there was no place for Armstrong in her sport.
"If he was just a drug cheat, I always believe you should do a sanction and have the right to come back to the sport,'' Gripper told the AAP in Australia.
"He's not a drug cheat - he's a bully, he's a manipulator, he's been incredibly unfair to a whole lot of people and he's a dead-set liar."
''(He's) not a single, one-off liar, he's a pathological liar. I don't want those people in our sport.''
Armstrong claimed he raced clean in 2009 when he made a comeback, after promising his former wife Kristin that he would never "cross the line". Gripper, who managed the UCI's Biological Passport programme until 2010, insisted there was nothing unusual with his blood profile at the time. She believes the Biological Passport has greatly cleaned up cycling.
"The big one was always Lance - I always knew the sport could never, never really move forward until the festering bubble that was 'did he or didn't he?' ... had been fully exposed,'' she said.
"The 2011 Tour de France was a bit of a landmark ... the fact that Cadel (Evans) won, that was the cherry on top of the cake,'' she said. "But there were all sorts of other things that happened in that Tour ... to indicate a much more level playing field.''
Gripper left the UCI for personal reasons. The international governing body has been accused of a far too cozy relationship with Armstrong after he donated $125,000 to the UCI, supposedly to help fight doping. However she still publicly supports embattled president Pat McQuaid.
"My relationship with the management and Pat as president ... was (that) they were absolutely committed to the elimination of doping,'' Gripper said of the UCI.