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Cyclist Alex: Why I can't support Lance Armstrong any more
7:20am Thursday 18th October 2012 in Local News
A BRITISH cyclist has said he could never shake his former mentor Lance Armstrong’s hand again.
Alex Dowsett, a member of Team Sky, said the Texan’s reputation has been irreparably tainted after the United States Anti-Doping Agency’s report into the cyclist’s doping programme.
Armstong denies the claims, but chose to hand back his seven Tour de France titles after deciding not to fight the claims earlier this year.
The report stated the 41-year-old, who beat cancer to compete in road cycling, had the “most sophisticated” doping programme the sport had ever seen.
Dowsett, 24, who was part of Armstrong’s Trek-LiveStrong team in 2010, had defended the cyclist in the immediate aftermath of the report, calling the American a “legend”.
However, the former King Edward Grammar School student has now stated only Armstong’s charity work can see him well regarded.
Dowsett said: “From a cycling point of view, I don’t think he’s a legend. I was talking about his charity work, but I accept the timing is wrong and it’s inappropriate to talk about that at this particular time.
“If I saw him now, knowing what we know, I could never shake his hand after what he’s done.”
During his season with the Trek-LiveStrong team, Dowsett won the under-23 European Time Trial Championship.
In the same year the Maldon-born cyclist got a silver medal in the time trial at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
The report compiled by anti-doping agency saw 11 former team-mates testify against Armstrong. It has been presented to the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency.
It has also been handed to the World Triathlon Corporation as the American had started competing in the sport after retiring from professional cycling in 2011.