Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong sympathized with Floyd Landis after an arbitration panel recently ruled to ban Landis for two years.
"When you are giving someone the death penalty, which they essentially did, you cannot tolerate shoddy work, which they clearly did," Armstrong said to the Associated Press. "I don't understand that type of rationale. I don't understand the verdict.
"It's tough for Floyd; it's tough for cycling. But at the same time, it's also really tough and unfortunate for the fans of all athletes. You never know when you're in that position, when an athlete's in that position, and you want to make sure that everything's done right."
Armstrong, who has faced doping accusations directed his way, criticized the lab that handled Landis' samples. He also claimed an American jury would not have found Landis guilty of doping.
"I didn't follow Floyd's case that much, but I will tell you, if that's a jury trial in the United States of America, with eight or 10 or 12 of our fellow citizens, you get off every time," said Armstrong to the AP. "Not that you get off, but you're vindicated."
Armstrong said it wasn't just cycling suffering hard times. "I think all of sport is going through a tough time," he said. "There's a lot of money, a lot of pride, a lot of fame on the line. People are going to cut corners. It's the job of the governing bodies and the police and all these agencies to make sure what we're watching is pure and clear."