Following the UCI’s confirmation of the USADA’s reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong, Miguel Indurain is now once again the only rider in the history of cycling to have taken five straight Tour de France wins. But the Spaniard remains convinced that Armstrong will, in fact, appeal to CAS over the decision to strip the Texan of his seven Tour titles and other victories since 1998.
Speaking in his regular column with sports daily MARCA, Indurain called Armstrong “a tireless fighter, he’s got that in his DNA. And that’s why even if the damage to his image is irreparable, I imagine he’ll appeal to CAS.”
“I would be surprised if he didn’t do [an appeal], because although I understand perfectly that he’s tired of this story, things can’t stay like this. It’s in his hands.”
Indurain told MARCA that he believed an appeal by Armstrong to CAS could explain why he had not attempted to defend himself from the USADA charges, “because he’s saving himself for the final sprint. That’s the only explanation I can find.”
The five-time Tour winner said that he had not followed the Armstrong saga closely and that “I don’t know a lot about it.”
“But as far as I do know, it’s been his own teammates, and in some cases close friends who are pointing the finger at him... can he [Armstrong] be sanctioned like this? Only him?”
“Because apparently those who admitted they did the same – his accusers – are going around like heroes. I don’t know what the current legal situation is, it’s changing a lot, but common sense tells me that something isn’t right.”