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Greg LeMond: 'no vendetta' against former friend Lance Armstrong

The Tour de France legend says he doesn’t “rejoice” in the downfall of the man that pushed him out of cycling.

Happier times: Lemond and Lance Armstrong in 1999.
Happier times: Lemond and Lance Armstrong in 1999.
Image: LAURENT REBOURS/AP/Press Association Images

THREE-TIME TOUR de France winner Greg LeMond says he has “no vendetta” against disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and hopes professional cycling can clean up its sport.

LeMond spoke last night at a University of Texas symposium on doping in sports. Despite more than a decade of clashes with Armstrong in a feud that he said pushed him out of cycling, LeMond was restrained in his criticism of the rider who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in a doping scandal.

Armstrong was just beginning his run of seven consecutive victories when LeMond publicly criticised his relationship with Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari. Ferrari is now a central figure in the Armstrong case for his involvement in the US Postal Service doping programme, and has been banned from sports for life.

“I have no vendetta against Armstrong,” LeMond said. He also said “I don’t rejoice” over Armstrong being stripped of his victories, even though it means LeMond is now recognised as the only American winner of cycling’s most prestigious race. LeMond won the Tour de France in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

Joining LeMond for the two-hour panel was his wife, Kathy, Betsy Andreu, a key witness against Armstrong and the wife of former Armstrong teammate Frankie Andreu, and Bill Bock, attorney for the US Anti-Doping Agency, which investigated Armstrong. Armstrong did not attend the symposium in the city where he lives and declined comment.

Betsy Andreu — a whistleblower in David Walsh and Paul Kimmage’s investigations — said she tried to meet with Armstrong, but he refused. “He didn’t trust me,” she said.

LeMond said professional cycling won’t clean up its doping problem until drug testing is run by someone other than the sport’s governing body, the International Cycling Union known as UCI. “Drug testing has to be separated from UCI,” LeMond said. “It’s not a game.”

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