Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

News

Armstrong lashes out at Walsh charges

Former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong issued a harshly worded statement Wednesday on the eve of the publication of a new book reviving claims that the American cyclist was a doper. Armstrong criticized "From Lance to Landis," the latest book by Irish writer David Walsh regarding Armstrong and doping accusations from the Tour de France, an English follow-up to his “LA Confidential,” published in French in 2004. "Predictably, on the eve of the Tour de France, I will be the subject of a repeated, baseless attack in yet another unobjective book," Armstrong said in a statement released

Don't miss a moment from Paris-Roubaix and Unbound Gravel, to the Giro d’Italia, Tour de France, Vuelta a España, and everything in between when you join Outside+.

By Staff and wire reports

Former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong issued a harshly worded statement Wednesday on the eve of the publication of a new book reviving claims that the American cyclist was a doper.

Armstrong criticized “From Lance to Landis,” the latest book by Irish writer David Walsh regarding Armstrong and doping accusations from the Tour de France, an English follow-up to his “LA Confidential,” published in French in 2004.

“Predictably, on the eve of the Tour de France, I will be the subject of a repeated, baseless attack in yet another unobjective book,” Armstrong said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Trying to jump on the bandwagon of current publicity surrounding cycling, Walsh now issues a recycled version of two earlier French books that were likewise founded upon a demonstrably false string of sensational, untrue and fabricated allegations.

“This latest attack will be no different than the first two – a sensationalized attempt to cash in on my name and sully my reputation.

“Like most fair-minded people, I am sick and tired of those who try to profit off the tactics of smear and guilt by innuendo or association.”

Armstrong has faced numerous doping allegations against him, including a modern test performed upon an older urine sample that had been unavailable at the time of Armstrong’s first Tour victory in 1999. He retired after winning his seventh Tour in 2005. Armstrong has always insisted that each of those victories had been achieved without the aid of performance-enhancing drugs.

“I raced clean. I won clean,” Armstrong said. “I am the most tested athlete in the history of sports. I have defended myself and my reputation and won every court case to prove I was clean.

“Yet another Walsh book with baseless, sensational and rejected allegations will not overcome the truth.”

Armstrong said that Walsh is motivated by a personal dislike for him and has paid sources for information and repeated inaccurate information for several years. Walsh did concede that he had paid former U.S. Postal soigneur Emma O’Reilly after having interviewed her in preparation for his first book.

“The allegations and sources in the latest book remain just as baseless, unreliable and manufactured as they were in the first two books,” Armstrong said.

“Continuing a pattern of distortion and fabrication started in the other books, the new book takes recycled allegations from the first books and cherry-picked allegations and testimony from the losing side of a court case I won and attempts to portray them as facts.”

Armstrong reached a $7.5 million settlement with a promotions firm over payment of a bonus for his sixth consecutive Tour triumph, He has often cited that payout in attacking critics.

“I responded in court to these allegations, most of which are made by a handful of grudge holders, axe grinders, and a so-called ‘expert’ whose graduate degree turned out to be by way of correspondence courses – and I proved them false,” Armstrong said. “I was vindicated yet again.”

The firm, SCA of Texas, had sold an insurance policy to Tailwind Sports – partly owned by Armstrong – guaranteeing payment of a $5 million bonus if the American were to win his sixth Tour de France in 2004.

Following publication of Walsh’s first book that same year, the promotions firm argued that it didn’t have to make the payout, since the victory was “apparently” the result of doping.

Armstrong sued and SCA settled once members of an arbitration panel ruled that the suit had merit, because the original contract contained no caveat that would have barred payment even if doping allegations were proven. The panel did not rule on the veracity of the doping claims themselves.