|Lance Armstrong won't be getting back on his bike after all. After recent hints he might return to the Tour de France next summer to "yank the chains" of the French, the seven-time champion said Thursday that defending his reputation against allegations of doping during his 1999 win had soured any thoughts of returning to the event he dominated. |
"I'm sick of this," Armstrong said during a late-afternoon conference call.
"Sitting here today, dealing with all this stuff again, knowing if I were to go back, there is no way I could get a fair shake on the roadside, in doping control, or the labs," he said.
A moment later, Armstrong added, "I think its better that way. I'm happy with the way my career went and ended and I'm not coming back."
Armstrong spoke with reporters hours after a nasty tug of war broke out between the bosses of the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency over who leaked documents used by the French newspaper LaEquipe to accuse him of using performance-enhancing drugs.
During a 45-minute question-and-answer session, the cyclist and his handlers left little doubt whom they believed was responsible: WADA Chief Dick Pound.
It was Pound who set off another round of charges and countercharges earlier Thursday by accusing cycling union boss Hein Verbruggen of supplying documents used by a French newspaper to charge that Armstrong used the blood-boosting drug EPO during his first tour win in 1999. www.abs-cbnnews.com/storypage.aspx?StoryId=16503