REUTERS - Reaction to Lance Armstrong’s admission that he cheated his way to a record seven Tour de France titles with systematic use of banned, performance-enhancing drugs:
INTERNATIONAL OLYMPIC COMMITTEE (IOC), in a statement:
”There can be no place for doping in sport and the IOC unreservedly condemns the actions of Lance Armstrong and all those who seek an unfair advantage against their fellow competitors by taking drugs.
“This is indeed a very sad day for sport but there is a positive side if these revelations can begin to draw a line under previous practices.”
DAVID HOWMAN, World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director general, told Reuters:
”It seemed to us it was more of a convenient truth than a full display of what went on and that is really what we would ask him to do.
”First, it displays that talking to a talk show host is not a very effective way of getting the full information out because a talk show host doesn’t have the full story.
“I think there were a lot of words put into his mouth, that’s not the way you get full information.”
TRAVIS TYGART, United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) chief, in a statement:
“His admission that he doped throughout his career is a small step in the right direction but if he is sincere in his desire to correct his past mistakes he will testify under oath about the full extent of his doping activities.”
PAT McQUAID, International Cycling Union (UCI) president, in a statement:
”The UCI welcomes Lance Armstrong’s decision finally to come clean and to confess to using performance-enhancing drugs, in the first part of his interview with Oprah Winfrey.
“We note that Lance Armstrong expressed a wish to participate in a truth and reconciliation process, which we would welcome.”
CHRISTIAN PRUDHOMME, Tour de France race director, told Reuters:
”What we’ve just seen is a minutely calibrated exercise in communication. Just a few weeks ago, if we’d been told that Armstrong was doping during the Tour de France, we wouldn’t have thought it possible. But after the leaks we’ve had recently, this leaves something to be desired. We need to go further. The USADA report has denounced systematic (doping). We need to know more about the way he was able to dope and especially about the influence of his entourage.
“The Armstrong affair offers a snapshot of the way cycling was a few years ago. I can’t tell you that the sport is perfect today. Things have already changed. Now what we need to prevent this sort of affair is to know more and to be able to dismantle the system that USADA talks about in its damning report.”
LIVESTRONG, cancer foundation set up by Armstrong, in a statement:
”We at the Livestrong Foundation are disappointed by the news that Lance Armstrong misled people during and after his cycling career, including us.
“Even in the wake of our disappointment, we also express our gratitude to Lance as a survivor for the drive, devotion and spirit he brought to serving cancer patients and the entire cancer community.”
CHRIS HOY, six-times Olympic cycling champion, told reporters:
”We’ve got to remember it’s one man, it’s one part of the sport, it’s not the whole sport. The majority of cyclists, the huge majority of cyclists out there are clean.
“We are showing that we can win gold medals and you can be clean and be proud of your sport and show that not all cyclists are like Lance Armstrong.”
DAVID MILLAR, British rider who served two-year doping ban, told a forum:
“I can’t help but empathise with him even if it was Oprah and not a judge but sympathise is too strong a word ... He’s got kids and they’re going to have to go to school. A couple of years ago their dad was the best in the world and now he’s a pariah.”
CHRIS HORNER, Radioshack Leopard Trek rider, told reporters:
“The confession is difficult to deal with and stuff like that ... He has done, I guess, dark things with the sport but he has done a lot of very good things for the sport too.”
GREG LEMOND, triple Tour de France winner, to Cyclingnews:
“If Armstrong had given Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton the same stuff he was taking, he would never have won - they would have beaten him.”
JOERG JAKSCHE, German former rider who has admitted doping, told Sky Sports News:
“I didn’t have the feeling that he was regretting that he doped, I had more of a feeling that he regretted that he came back (out of retirement) and it was the start of all his problems.”
JAIMIE FULLER, founder of Change Cycling Now pressure group, told Reuters:
“There’s a hell of a lot more that’s needed beyond an interview with Lance Armstrong and Oprah Winfrey. Having said that, he did make a couple of points that certainly are relevant and the main one is calling for a truth and reconciliation commission.”
PIERRE BORDRY, former head of the French Anti-Doping Agency, told Reuters TV:
“He should have said more... What his admission lacks is precise information on the way he got supply, if people helped him.”
PAUL KIMMAGE, former rider and journalist who spent many years trying to expose Armstrong, on RTE:
”I don’t know whether he wants to leverage that (his admission of guilt) against something else, whether he’s trying to cut a deal that would enable him to compete in triathlons and that.
“If he’s genuine about it he’ll be knocking on Travis Tygert’s door today and saying ‘Okay, I will testify under oath, I want to do this sport a service, I’ve caused it terrible damage’.”
EMMA O‘REILLY, Armstrong’s former masseuse who was sued by the rider after speaking out about his doping, told British television channel ITV:
”I had only ever spoken about it because I hated seeing what some of the riders were going through, because not all the riders were as comfortable with cheating as Lance was.
“And you could see when he went over to the ‘dark side’ personalities change - and it was an awful shame.”
JEFF TILLOTSON, lawyer for SCA Promotions which paid Armstrong $12 million in bonus money for Tour de France wins, told Reuters:
“Lance Armstrong’s statements were jaw-dropping to my clients, because he basically admitted that everything he told us in his sworn deposition was untrue... He doesn’t deserve, and is not entitled to, that money.”
JONATHAN VAUGHTERS, former team mate of Armstrong, told Reuters in a text message:
“It was a good first step. I‘m glad he said he would testify to truth and reconciliation.”
MATT GITEAU, former Australia rugby player, on Twitter:
“I think I am still a fan of Lance Armstrong. Level playing field I believe in the Tour. They were all doing it, he just did it better.”
PIERS MORGAN, talk show host and former newspaper editor, on Twitter:
“What a snivelling, lying, cheating little wretch @lancearmstrong revealed himself to be tonight. I hope he now just disappears.”
NICOLE COOKE, British 2008 Olympic road race champion, told the BBC:
“Lance Armstrong was living in his own horrible world. He’s got no morals and he’s a disgusting human being. The sad thing is there were clean riders who had livelihoods and careers stolen from them by Lance and we’re probably not going to see those people vindicated in any way through this.”
BETSY ANDREU, wife of former Armstrong team mate Frankie and who had previously said she had heard the disgraced rider confess to doctors treating him for testicular cancer that he had taken performance-enhancing drugs, told CNN:
“He could have come clean, he owed it to me, he owed it to the sport that he destroyed. The hospital is where it all started. If he wants a shot of redemption here, he’s dropping the ball.”
DAVID WALSH, Sunday Times journalist and author who has battled to expose Armstrong’s doping and who was sued by Armstrong, told the BBC:
“The Sunday Times will be looking for around $2 million back from Armstrong, he should pay that back now straight up, no questions, because the Sunday Times were the one newspaper at that time asking the right questions. The Sunday Times are saying now: ‘Lance, you admit you doped, give us our money back, do the fair thing, if you don’t do the fair thing we will go all the way to get our money back’.”
PIERRE BALLESTER, co-author of “LA Confidential” with David Walsh, told Reuters TV:
“It is unimaginable to think that there was a generalised system of doping in his team without the help or involvement of other institutions or protagonists. So he benefited from protection. He didn’t reveal them. I think that all this was negotiated ahead of this Hollywood show to protect his back and possibly to save his foundation.”
BRIAN COOKSON, British Cycling president, told the BBC:
“I don’t think he’s sorry. I think he’s just sorry he got caught.”
STUART O‘GRADY, former Tour de France stage winner, told reporters:
”Lance deceived everybody on the planet, us included. Obviously we all wanted to believe also he was winning the Tours clean. We are all athletes suffering through the mountains and you’d like to think that he was just training harder and working harder than we all were.
“But now it’s all come out, (I am) deceived, annoyed, frustrated.”
TONY DOYLE, British former cyclist, told the BBC:
“No one is more amazed or staggered with the revelations that have come out. I completely bought into the Lance Armstrong story, his story on how he overcame the cancer, and everything that went with that. I got to know Lance fairly well, and I‘m amazed by the extent of deceit that’s been going on.”
ANDY PARKINSON, UK Anti-Doping CEO, told Sky Sports News:
“I’ve been in front of athletes who have been ashamed of what they have done in the past and this didn’t ring in the same way to me. From what I can see this is an action that has been forced on him rather than he has come forward. The point he makes about winning the Tour de France you have to cheat is bemusing because he was the winner for seven years and of course you had to cheat because he was cheating.”
NOVAK DJOKOVIC, tennis world number one, told reporters at the Australian Open:
“I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this. He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it’s not fair towards any sportsman, any athlete. It’s just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.”
Compiled by Sonia Oxley; Editing by Mitch Phillips and Clare Fallon