Philadelphia Bike Racers Relieved at Latest Action Against Lance Armstrong
By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Lance Armstrong’s name is coming out of cycling’s record books.
Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life by cycling’s governing body today following a report from the US Anti-Doping Agency that accused him of leading a massive doping program on his teams.
UCI president Pat McQuaid announced that the federation accepted the USADA’s report on Armstrong and would not appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
In Paris, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said at a news conference that he no longer considers Armstrong the seven-time champion of the race. Prudhomme called UCI’s decision “totally logical” and said, “Lance Armstrong is no longer the winner of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005.”
In Philadelphia, riders and workers at one local bike shop detest the era of doping.
At Cadence Cycling Shop in Manayunk, elite riders including Mike Festa were providing a perspective today on what appears to be overwhelming evidence that the beautiful sport of international cycling, and Armstrong’s remarkable string of wins, were tainted.
“A lot of the guys around him were suspected or implicated in doping,” Festa said today. “He’s kind of the last to get caught.”
Festa points to several of Armstrong’s former teammates and others who finished second or third on the podium behind Armstrong, as he collected those seven Tour de France titles between 1999 and 2005.
Another young rider, Mark Davino (below), who just won a cyclocross race in his category in Chester County, Pa., quotes another former teammate of Armstrong’s, Levi Leipheimer:
“He would be surprised if five percent of the peloton was not doping in 1998 through 2007, and now, he’d be surprised if five percent were doping.”
Davino believes the sport began cleaning itself up in earnest in 2007. He says today’s younger riders want to distance themselves from cycling’s era of doping.