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Armstrong on his way to winning the prologue in the 1999 Tour de France
Spanish former pro content with his podium place
Fernado Escartin, who finished third behind Lance Armstrong and Alex Zuelle in the 1999 Tour de France, has called USADA’s decision to ban Armstrong and strip him of his Tour titles "illogical".
Escartin was one of the most successful climbers of his generation, competing at the highest level both before and after Armstrong’s first Tour win. In 1999, he raced for the Spanish Kelme squad and won a stage.
Armstrong, who has always denied doping, announced on Thursday that would not contest USADA’s charges relating to doping offences during his time with the US Postal Service squad.
"It's 13 years now since this all happened, it seems completely illogical and unreal. I don't want to even think about it. How far back in time do they want to go?,” Escartin told Reuters.
"Once they have done all the doping tests then that's as far as it should go," the Spaniard said. "It makes no sense.
"In Spain, after five years a legal case is dropped and for me, Lance Armstrong is as much a champion now as he was yesterday."