• Cycling

Armstrong questions fairness of lifetime ban

ESPN staff
November 8, 2013
Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles have all been vacated © PA Photos

Lance Armstrong believes his lifetime ban for doping is down to a 'vendetta' from the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles last year and banned from all competitions after a USADA investigation, though he argues he was always competing on a level playing field due to the volume of competitors who were also doping.

Though he is not denying his guilt - and is expected to elaborate on how he orchestrated the most sophisticated doping programme in the history of professional sports - he believes USADA has made an unfair example of him compared to others.

The disgraced American believes animosity between himself and USADA chief Travis Tygart was the key to his lifetime ban, though Armstrong stopped short of likening his treatment to a witch hunt.

Armstrong said: "I might say it was a vendetta between me and Travis. Maybe that [a witch hunt] is not the right word but I still hope to be part of a solution. My phone, it's on, but I've not been called.

"I singled out? Yes. Was there collateral damage with other guys? Yes. Again, it's all my fault. Of course I'm the guy they went after. Of course. It wouldn't make any sense to go after anyone else. I get that.

"All I'm saying is that the initial claim from USADA that they're trying to make a comprehensive claim to clean up cycling isn't true. I wish it was.

"They were going after one person, which is also fine but say it and call everyone in at the same time, within the same 48 hours. I was getting antagonising tweets from the UCI Overlord about what Travis was planning. How is it that the UCI Overlord knows what Travis is doing and I don't? That's not a comprehensive way to clean up the sport."

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