After Wednesday's controversial allegations made by French sports daily L'Equipe against Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour winner has responded on CNN's Larry King Live program. Armstrong chose the highly-rating talkshow to argue, as he has on countless occasions, that he has never doped, the recent allegations are preposterous, and the tests themselves are intrinsically flawed. Les Clarke reports.
Armstrong was particularly surprised and shocked at the comments of Tour organiser Jean Marie LeBlanc, saying "for Jean-Marie to say that was a shock to me, first of all, because I actually spoke to him that very same day for about 30 minutes on the telephone. I called him at his house in Paris and he didn't say any of those things to me."
Armstrong continued by pointing out how all this impacts on him, saying, "But this thing stinks. It's not good for me. And the unfortunate thing is that you potentially dealt with something that you have to face for the rest of your life. And like I said, the protocol wasn't followed and there is no backup sample to confirm what they say is a positive test."
The 33-year-old Texan is obviously not constrained in his comments now he's retired, explaining possibilities why he's been targeted by the French media ever since his first win in 1999, saying, "French cycling is in one of its biggest lulls it has been ever. I don't know, I think it's been 20 or 25 years since they won the Tour de France. And times are tough, you know, and as I was saying earlier to somebody, the day I retired, they wrote a front-page editorial on L'Equipe, and they said at the end of the article - or the end of the editorial - 'never has an athlete's retirement been so welcome.' So..."
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