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Laurent Fignon treated for "advanced" cancer

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
June 11, 2009, 20:51 BST,
Updated:
June 12, 2009, 22:16 BST

Cycling legend undergoing chemotherapy for intestinal cancer

Cycling legend Laurent Fignon made public the news that he is suffering from an advanced form of intestinal cancer on Thursday. The Frenchman who won the Tour de France twice, and had the dubious honour of being the rider to finish second to Greg LeMond in the closest Tour in history in 1989, has already begun treatment for the disease .

"I am undergoing chemotherapy already and have been for 15 days," he said in a radio interview with the Europe 1 show "7 à 8". "I did the second session a few days ago. Things are going pretty well, I feel good. Right now, I don’t know more than you. Everything is going well."

"They've detected cancer in my digestive tract, but it's not clear where exactly. It is bad news," said Fignon, 48.

"My cancer is an advanced cancer, and since it has already spread, it is almost certainly involving the pancreas. Therefore I do not know how long I have to live. One cannot say what will happen, but I am optimistic. I'm going to fight, and I will succeed in winning this fight."

Fignon's diagnosis comes on the eve of the release of his book, "Nous étions jeunes et insouciants" (We were young and carefree) in which he reveals the use of performance-enhancing drugs during his career. He admitted to taking amphetamines and cortisone, but said that his cancer was not caused by his past doping.

"I candidly explained (to my doctors) what I had done in my career, and they said it can not be that. It would be too simple."

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