Armstrong round-up: Cavendish, Vaughters, Hammond Staff & Indurain have their say + Boonen visits Ferrari*
Bringing you up to date with ripples from the Armstrong pond
Two weeks after the revelations contained in the United States Anti-Doping Agency's evidence against Lance Armstrong - the stars of cycle sport past and present are still commening… probably because the media keep asking them to. Here's the latest round up with comments from Mark Cavendish, Roger Hammond, Jamie Staff, Jonathan Vaughters and Miguel Indurain… who still thinks Lance is innocent plus news on the latest of Armstrong's ex-teammates to confess to doping.
It's fair to say that Mark Cavendish's attitude to Lance is somewhat less supportive than Big Mig's.
Cavendish told the BBC that he just wants a clean slate for cycling. He said: "If you've done something, confess. That anyone can damage the sport I love right now, it's frustrating.
Cavendish has said in the past that he believes that one of the reasons cycling has such a bad reputation is that it catches more cheates because it conducts more tests than other sports - a theme he returned to today.
"There are cheats in entertainment, journalists cheat, every single sport has cheats.
"If you put the effort into catching them and you have a structure that does things properly, you're going to catch a cheat."
Meanwhile another of Armstrong's former teammates from the era when beating doping control was simply a matter of lying on the floor and pretending you weren't there has admitted to doping. Norwegian cyclist Steffen Kjaergaard, rode with US Postal between 2000 and 2003 and was on the U.S. Postal Service team in the Tour de France in 2000 and 2001.
Kjaergaard told Eurosport: "When I was a part of the U.S Postal Service team, everything was organised by the team. I did not need to arrange for a doctor or do anything by myself," retired Kjaergaard told a news conference.
"The reason that I am coming forth now is that I have had a big problem with my own conscience."
Without naming Armstrong, he said: "I cannot say if any of my team mates were using illegal substances. I can assume that others at US Postal were using something that the witness reports said. I have no direct knowledge though."
Phil Liggett may have accepted the truth but Big Mig - the man who's record for consectuive Tour wins Armstrong broke - still believes in him.
"Even now I believe in his innocence. He has always respected all the rules," Indurain told Radio Marca in Spain.
"I'm a bit surprised. It's strange that this was only based on testimonies."
Indurain added: "I think he will come back and appeal and try to show that he played fair for all those years."
Armstrong enjoys the support of at least one other Spanish rider - Euskaltel's Samuel Sanchez going on record more than once in the last couple of weeks to say that he doesn't agree with Armstrong being stripped of his titles.
Lance Armstrong yesterday removed all mention of five Tour de France wins from his official Twitter account… not that he's been very active on it lately.
Roger Hammond and Jamie Staff were asked for their opinions on the Armstrong affair yesterday and while neither seemed to doubt what Armstrong had done Staff felt the Texan had been singled out and Hammond remembered a supportive teammate that never gave him any hint of wrongdoing.,
Roger Hammond rode with Armstrong on the Discovery Channel team in 2005 - 2006 and this week told BBC Sport :
"I was in Lance Armstrong's team for two years and I was never asked, was never given any idea of any doping,"
"I saw nothing at all, but then Usada never asked for my opinion."
Hammond went on to say that Armstrong was "fantastic to me as a team-mate", adding: "He was very supportive. He never ever forced his opinion, if this was his opinion."
He never offered me dope, never forced me to compromise my ethos or my sport."
USADA would no doubt argue that Hammond was riding for Discovery as a classics specialist - not to be part of their Tour de France team so there would have been no need for him to be part of the doping programme or for him to know about it. Hammond's comments do also raise the point that during the Armstrong era a lot of riders were employed at one time or another by the USPS team and its successors - if they didn't all dope, and USADA's evidence suggests that they didn't how was it possible for such an organised doping set up to be hidden from the rest of the team?
The BBC also spoke to Olympic track gold medallist and BMX legend, Jamie Staff about Armstrong yesterday. He told BBC South East Today: "He's been kind of a scapegoat really.
"A lot of people have done it, probably everyone in his generation.
"He seems to be the one everyone is picking on, probably as he was the most successful."
Garmin Sharp team manager, Jonathan Vaughters in his role as president of the Association of International Cycling Teams (AIGP), the body that represents top teams has called for a an independent commission to be set up with support from the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI: "We can learn what went wrong in the past and move forward."
Vaughters, who gave evidence against Armstrong as part of the USADA investigation and who has previously admitted doping in the past, went on to say: "Behind the scenes, it's very much improved, but in the public's perception, it isn't.
"That's why AIGCP is suggesting we develop an independent commission to audit all the anti-doping processes that occur in cycling so we can learn what went wrong in the past and move forward.
"In my opinion, the best way to go about it is right now right here. You come to a truth and reconciliation - everything that's gone on for the past 20 years - and say now we're going to move on with absolute concrete zero tolerance," he said.
"Every scandal has a purpose, every obstacle has a reason for being there and to be able to circumvent it, that only leads to progress.
"Is this the definitive moment? I don't know, but I do know it's a catalyst for progress and we need to take advantage of this moment."
*No, not the one that makes unnaturally fast riders, the one that makes unnaturally fast cars.