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Stephen Roche says Lance Armstrong should be given his Tour de France victories back

“Armstrong should stay on that list,” the Dubliner insisted.

Image: Lorraine O'Sullivan/INPHO

FORMER IRISH CYCLIST Stephen Roche believes Lance Armstrong deserves to be given his Tour de France victories back.

In 2012, Armstrong was stripped of all seven of his wins in the competition as a result of doping, yet Roche and a number of other Tour de France winners believe the punishment was too severe.

“Armstrong should stay on that list,” the Dubliner told De Telegraaf.

“In the 100-year history of the race you can’t not have a winner for seven years. Doping has been part of sport, not only for cycling, for decades. Who tells me Jacques Anquetil won clean. Should we take his victories away? Or why does Richard Virenque get to keep his polka dot jerseys?”

In total, 12 of the 23 former Tour winners felt Armstrong did not deserve to be stripped of his achievements.

Meanwhile, De Telegraaf also questioned Armstrong about these developments, but the disgraced cyclist was reluctant to give a definitive response, saying:

“I think it’s better not to say anything to this. Of course I have an opinion but I’ll keep it to myself for now.”

Nevertheless, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme dismissed suggestions that the decision could be reversed, explaining:

“You ask the people along the route. It’s clear, his name will not be on the list again. Period.”

h/t Cycling News

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Paul Fennessy

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