Lance Armstrong, banned from cycling by the US Anti-Doping Agency, said Wednesday he was “not afraid” of any report USADA might make to the International Cycling Union (UCI).
“No, no, I’m absolutely not afraid,” Armstrong told AFP after jogging with his fans in central Montreal.
USADA on Friday banned the 40-year-old American for life and stripped him of his record seven Tour de France titles, but the UCI has said it wanted to see USADA’s full explanation for the sanctions before acting. The US cycling icon and cancer survivor was in Montreal for the World Cancer Congress, where he introduced himself on Wednesday morning by saying:
“My name is Lance Armstrong, I’m a cancer survivor … and yes, I won the Tour de France seven times. “And for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I love you,” he added cheerily.
Armstrong’s Livestrong campaign has collected nearly $500 million for cancer research and helping people cope with the disease. He told conference delegates that there is still “too much to be done” in the fight against cancer that “we can’t be distracted,” again alluding to the doping scandal.
“I won’t be distracted,” he said.
USADA said last Friday that Armstrong would be banned for life and his results from 1998 — including seven Tour titles from 1999-2005 – would be expunged because of “numerous anti-doping rule violations, including his involvement in trafficking and administering doping products to others”.
USADA’s move followed Armstrong’s own announcement that he would not seek to clear his name through independent arbitration. Armstrong, who has vehemently denied doping during his career, has questioned USADA’s authority to ban him, and the UCI demanded a full account of the agency’s findings. USADA, which said it has as many as 10 witnesses prepared to testify to Armstrong’s drug use, made it clear it believes the UCI and Tour de France organizers must honor its findings under the World Anti-Doping Code.