Cycling: Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins has joined Mark Cavendish in urging disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to admit doping.
Wiggins, attending the launch of next year’s Tour de France route in Paris today, hit out at the 41-year-old Texan who was described by the United States Anti-Doping Agency as being part of “the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen.”
Current Tour champion Wiggins had his hopes of defending his title dealt a blow when the 2013 route — which begins in Corsica — was unveiled, with its mountaneous course seeming unsuited to his time-trial prowess.
But talk soon turned to the Armstrong scandal that has rocked both cycling and the wider sporting world, and the Olympic time trial gold medallist made his feelings known.
He said: “I think there is a lot of anger from most people within the sport, it is a sport I love and have always loved.
“It is a shame that cycling is being dragged through this again really, not a shame that he has been caught — when you get older you start to realise Father Christmas doesn’t exist and it is the same with Lance.
“But it is a shame that us riders here now, we are the one picking the pieces up and having to convince people.”
When asked whether he thought Armstrong admitting to the charge would help the situation Wiggins added: “I think so, definitely.
“But he is a stubborn man and I don’t think he is ever going to confess, he has too much to lose.”
His comments come hot on the heels of those made by British team-mate Mark Cavendish, who also urged Armstrong to own up.
Citing Team GB’s David Millar and his former HTC director Rolf Aldag as examples of cyclists who have admitted to doping, he said: “It’s not fair on me having to answer these questions.
“If you’ve done something, confess. That anyone can damage the sport I love right now, it’s frustrating.”
The 2011 world road race champion, who will ride for Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013, added: “I’ve worked with David Millar. This guy’s remorseful. He’s repented.
“The team I grew up with, HTC, one of the directors (Aldag) — these guys care about the sport. They ruin their reputation to move the sport on, but other people care more about themselves.”
Cavendish also insisted the issue is one with society rather than simply his sport.
He said: “It’s not just in cycling — it’s every walk of life.
“There’s cheats in entertainment, journalists cheat, every single sport has cheats.”
If you appreciated this article then please consider donating to the Morning Star's Fighting Fund to ensure we can keep developing your paper.