Riders, officials and observers of the international cycling scene have started giving their reacitons on the USADA-Armstrong case. Cyclingnews has gathered comments from a variety of sources, including personal Tweets.
Steven de Jongh (pro rider 1996 – 2009, now directeur sportif at Team Sky): "By deleting Lance, the list of winners doesn't become more credible."
Kathy LeMond (wife of Greg LeMond, Tour winner 1986, 1989, 1990): "Finally."
Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team): "1 thing I will say abt @lancearmstrong is that he was integral in bringing this @USAProChallenge to life. And this race ROCKS. #usapro"
Chiara Passerini (wife of 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans):" Hang on a sec, does that means that Ulrich has won how many more Tours now?I thought they stripped the title from him once too..interesting!"
Jan Ullrich, who would stand to benefit most if Armstrong loses his Tour titles, said that he hadn't particularly been following the case. “I know the order in which we crossed the finish line,” he told he dpa news agency. “I have closed out my professional career and I have always said that I am also proud of my second places.”
Ullrich, who won the Tour in 1997, could be named winner for the 2000, 2001 and 2003 editions of the race. Despite having retired in 2007, he is currently serving a two-year doping ban and also lost all of his results from May 2005 on, including his third-place finish in the Tour that year.
The director of the Dutch Anti Doping Agency, Herman Ram, said on Friday that USADA had the right to strip Armstrong of his Tour de France titles. “A disciplinary committee always has that authority in the treatment of a doping case,” although he acknowledged that the UCI “may still challenge the decision at the highest sports tribunal CAS."
Ram said while there were no positive doping tests against Armstrong, “The Disciplinary Committee has probably enough other evidence,” he said in a statement issued Friday morning, according to the AFP press agency. “There is talk of ten witnesses about doping. It is not very satisfactory that we will never know what exactly happened, because now nothing will come out.''
Brian Holm called the case “a great farce.” He told ekstrabladet.dk, “It will be quite entertaining to see who has won all the Tours - Alex Zülle, Jan Ullrich, Virenque, Rumsas .. There are many over the years - if not admitted - then at least have a little glitch in the machinery when it comes to the crunch,” indicating that none of the named riders rode clean.
“Let it go! It's hilarious to try to change the past. It is as comical as giving Ullrich a two-year suspension from jogging.”
Holm, currently directeur sportif with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, rode professionally from 1986 to 1998. In 2002 he admitted to having doped during his career, and in 2007 said that he twice used EPO in 1996 whilst with Team Telekom.
Armstrong's biggest sponsor and Livestrong partner Nike continued to support the American. "Lance has stated his innocence and has been unwavering on this position. Nike plans to continue to support Lance and the Lance Armstrong Foundation, a foundation that Lance created to serve cancer survivors,” the firm said in a statement.
The Lance Armstrong Foundation also expressed its support. In a statement, Foundation vice president and founding chairman Jeffery C. Garvey said, “Faced with a biased process whose outcome seems predetermined, Lance chose to put his family and his foundation first and we support his decision.”
He went on to laud Armstrong's “legacy in the cancer community,” saying, “Lance has unfailingly stood by the cancer community and we will always stand by him.”
The American Cancer Society said that it hoped “that the Foundation will continue its important work. Reducing suffering and death from cancer is a moral imperative, and the Lance Armstrong Foundation’s contribution is sorely needed.”