x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Armstrong tarnished

Lance Armstrong has been definitively exposed as a cheat. Now he should admit what everyone knows to be true.

With a mountain of evidence against him, it seems that the only person who still claims Lance Armstrong is innocent of drugs charges is the cyclist himself.

On Wednesday, the United States Anti Doping Agency released a voluminous report with 1,000 pages of testimony from 26 witnesses, including 11 of Armstrong's former teammates. The report identifies him as the ringleader of what it called "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

Armstrong refused to cooperate with the inquiry and his lawyer has called its report a "one-sided hatchet job", but the evidence that he used and supplied banned substances, including testosterone and erythropoietin, is overwhelming. And he did it with funds from his sponsor, the US postal service, and the US government.

Armstrong's tragedy is that he will not be remembered for his record number of Tour de France titles, which have now been revoked, or for his battle against cancer and subsequent charity work. He'll be the cheat who refused to come clean.

The time has come for Armstrong to stand up and take responsibility for his actions; to exercise some of his famous iron determination and take one last fix - but this time, let it be truth serum.