• Australian Open, Day Five

Djokovic: Armstrong must 'suffer for his lies'

ESPN staff
January 18, 2013

Novak Djokovic labelled Lance Armstrong a "disgrace" and believes the cyclist should be hung out to dry after his doping confession.

In an interview with TV chatshow host Oprah Winfrey, Armstrong admitted he took performance-enhancing drugs and cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories.

Speaking after his 6-4 6-3 7-5 victory over Radek Stepanek, the defending Australian Open champion said Armstrong should "suffer for his lies".

"I think it's a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this," Djokovic said. "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.

"I lost a lot of faith in cycling. I used to watch it. All the big champions that were there, Marco Pantani, now Lance Armstrong. There has been so much controversy about that sport. I'm sure that there are many cyclists in the world who are training very hard and trying to not use any enhancing drugs for their competition."

While Djokovic admitted he has not had a blood test in over six months, he is confident the anti-doping measures in place are sufficient to prevent a similar scandal happening in tennis.

"Anti-doping regulations a little bit maybe more strict in sense that you have to fill the whereabouts documents and you have to basically give an hour or two in every day of your life in a whole year, where you are," he said. "I wasn't tested with blood for last six, seven months. It was more regular in last two, three years ago. I don't know the reason why they stopped it.

"As long as it's fair, it's clean, we're trying to protect the identity of this sport. I believe tennis players are [some] of the cleanest athletes in the world and one of the most competitive sports. So as long as we keep it that way, I have no complaints about testing.

"In last few years there maybe has been one or two cases, but those players were more or less outside of the hundred. We are keeping this sport clean. We are working towards it. There is awareness with the players and with the officials. As long as is like that, we are in a good road."

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