29 Jun 2013

Armstrong says winning without doping impossible

7:00 am on 29 June 2013

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who cheated his way to seven Tour de France victories from 1999-2005, claims it would have been impossible to win the world's greatest race without doping in his era.

Asked if riders won races drugs-free in the era when he competed, a bullish Armstrong said that it depended on the races, but not the Tour de France.

Armstrong called the Tour "impossible to win without doping" and the 41-year-old Texan added that his name was taken out of the winners but the Tour was held between 1999 and 2005 so there must be a winner, but nobody has come forward to claim his jerseys.

Five-times Tour champion Bernard Hinault was quick to react, the Frenchman saying that Armstrong must not know what it was like to ride without doping.

Armstrong says he didn't invent doping and it hasn't stopped with him, he just took part in the system, and the US drug agency USADA perfectly managed to destroy a man's life but it has not benefited cycling at all.

The 2013 Tour de France starts on Sunday.