Armstrong denies drug claims
"I will restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs"
Tuesday August 23, 2005
Armstrong has hit out at what he calls a "witch hunt".
One month after winning a record seventh Tour de France, cycling legend Lance Armstrong has angrily rejected allegations that he tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug, and insisted he is the victim of a "witch hunt."
Despite undergoing regular tests, Armstrong has never before tested positive for a banned substance. And he dismissed today's claims in French newspaper L'Equipe emphatically.
"Yet again, a European newspaper has reported that I have tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs," he told his official website. "A French sports daily, is reporting that my 1999 samples were positive. Unfortunately, the witch hunt continues and the article is nothing short of tabloid journalism.
"The paper even admits in its own article that the science in question here is faulty and that I have no way to defend myself. They state, 'there will therefore be no counter-exam nor regulatory prosecutions, in a strict sense, since defendant's rights cannot be respected'.
"I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance enhancing drugs."
Armstrong has been dubbed by many as the greatest athlete of all time, after recovering from testicular cancer to win one of the world's toughest endurance races more times than anyone else. Just before announcing his retirement last month, he delivered a message to people who questioned hoiw he achieved such a feat.
"For the people who don't believe in cycling - the cynics, the sceptics - I'm sorry for you," he said. "I'm sorry you can't dream big and I'm sorry you don't believe in miracles."