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He also says that Armstrong used charity as a shield and "manipulated cancer community"...

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond has said that Lance Armstrong, last year stripped of his seven victories in the race for doping, should go to jail as a result of his “criminal” behaviour. He added that without the help of performance enhancing substances, Armstrong would have been “a top 30 at best” rider.

LeMond, aged 52, was speaking last night on the CNN show, Anderson Cooper 360°. In his interview with the talk show host, the double world road champion also described Armstrong as a “thug” who used his recovery from cancer, as well as the charity he founded, as a shield from doping allegations, reports USA Today.

In 2001, quoted in a Sunday Times article regarding Armstrong’s links to the now banned Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, LeMond said: “If Lance is clean, it is the greatest comeback in the history of sport. If he isn't, it would be the greatest fraud."

Those comments were among the reasons that Trek, whose bikes Armstrong rode to all seven of his Tour de France wins, dropped LeMond’s bicycle range. The parties reached an out-of-court settlement in LeMond’s favour last year, although full details were not disclosed.

Asked last night whether he still believed Armstrong had committed the biggest fraud in sporting history, LeMond replied: "Absolutely. Absolutely. The greatest fraud was that – I mean, I know his physical capability.

“He is a top 30 at best. I mean, at best. No matter what. If he was clean, everybody was clean, he was top 30 at best. He is not capable of, not – capable of the top five."

The insinuation is that in an era when doping was rife in the peloton and the vast majority of the riders who achieved top ten positions in the Tour de France were later revealed to have used drugs, Armstrong was gaining more of an edge than any of his rivals.

Armstrong’s first Tour de France victory came in 1999, less than a year after he returned to cycling following his recovery from cancer. By that point, he had already founded his cancer awareness charity the Lance Armstrong Foundation, later rebranded as Livestrong.

But LeMond insisted that Armstrong had ulterior motives, saying: "He manipulated the cancer community.

"I mean, I have family members with cancer. Everybody has been affected by cancer. But it was the manipulation and using that… like Teflon. He used the money, he used the foundation to not only cover for him but also destroy people."

Cooper asked LeMond what he thought should happen to Armstrong now.

"This is not a sporting infraction," LeMond maintained. "This is criminal." Asked if he believed Armstrong should go to jail, he responded, “I do, yes."

So far, however, Armstrong has escaped criminal charges. 

Early last year, a federal investigation into whether Armstrong and others had committed fraud in relation to use of sponsorship funds from the US Postal Service was shelved.

Moreover, potential perjury charges relating to what by his own admission were untruthful statements in his deposition under oath in the SCA Promotions case, which concluded in 2006, cannot be brought since they are statute barred.

He continues to face a number of civil actions, including the whistleblower case brought by former team-mate Floyd Landis, which the US Government has joined.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

34 comments

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lookmanohands [119 posts] 3 years ago
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 41

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James Warrener [1084 posts] 3 years ago
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Loved Greg as a rider, love him even more after that.

Chapeau.

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Old Cranky [259 posts] 3 years ago
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Me too. I love the way he wants to crap in Armstrong's cap  4

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mooleur [537 posts] 3 years ago
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Hear hear well said.

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georgee [175 posts] 3 years ago
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What a legend.

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nostromo [55 posts] 3 years ago
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Suggesting jail time is one thing but claiming he was only a "top 30 rider at best" without the drugs will really stick in Armstrong's craw.

Bitchin'

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farrell [1946 posts] 3 years ago
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I disagree with the "top 30 at best" if everyone was clean comment, but I also will concede the LeMond probably has more knowledge and is in a better position to judge, but he may also be using this opportunity to level a few scores with Armstrong. After the way he and his wife were treated he is more than owed the opportunity to put the boot in.

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caaad10 [187 posts] 3 years ago
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I normally err on the side of leniency, but in this instance a jail term seems perfectly justified

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njmoffat [38 posts] 3 years ago
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Go Greg! I destest Armstrong with a passion.

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crazy-legs [850 posts] 3 years ago
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georgee wrote:

What a legend.

Not really, he's doing the oh-so-popular thing of bashing Armstrong in an attempt to garner some free publicity for himself and he's certainly got an axe to grind (perfectly understandable given the circumstances).

In an era where doping was the done thing, where everyone involved was part of the omerta, where riders, doctors, managers, teams, even many of the sponsors (and possibly even the UCI) were actively complicit, where magazines all jumped on the bandwagon to enjoy the extra publicity, laying this all at the door of ONE man seems a tad - hypocritical.

Just a matter of time before one super-fish came along in a very polluted little pond. What gets me is the total hypocrisy and complete lack of any consistency.
Where's the calls for sanctions against every other rider who "defrauded" sponsors, who lied, cheated, bullied or manipulated people, why is Virenque still listed as a 7-times King of the Mountains winner? It really is time to move on from "it was all Armstrong's fault".

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Kapelmuur [364 posts] 3 years ago
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[/quote]
Where's the calls for sanctions against every other rider who "defrauded" sponsors, who lied, cheated, bullied or manipulated people, why is Virenque still listed as a 7-times King of the Mountains winner? It really is time to move on from "it was all Armstrong's fault".[/quote]

Agree with this, I'm still smarting from the hammering I got from some Italian aquaintances for suggesting that Pantani was not worthy of their hero worship.

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mikeprytherch [223 posts] 3 years ago
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Crazy-legs.... couldn't agree more, I hate Armstrong and what he did, but I also hate all the other cheating bastards of that era, some who were able to ride again and win the Olympics FFS !

He should be treated like all the other cheats, ban them all for life or not, my choice is for life, but lets have some consistency, its not all one persons fault.

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georgee [175 posts] 3 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:
georgee wrote:

What a legend.

Not really, he's doing the oh-so-popular thing of bashing Armstrong in an attempt to garner some free publicity for himself and he's certainly got an axe to grind (perfectly understandable given the circumstances).

In an era where doping was the done thing, where everyone involved was part of the omerta, where riders, doctors, managers, teams, even many of the sponsors (and possibly even the UCI) were actively complicit, where magazines all jumped on the bandwagon to enjoy the extra publicity, laying this all at the door of ONE man seems a tad - hypocritical.

No, in an era when nearly everyone was bullied, coerced, conned or gullible enough to eat Armstrongs shit, he did not, he has fully earned his right to say all he said. If this was Riis, Millar, schleck, contador, Hamilton, hincapie, Tyler, verbruggen, Mcquaid or many thousands who did nothing or added to the whole sham he would not.

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jarredscycling [456 posts] 3 years ago
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Old Cranky wrote:

Me too. I love the way he wants to crap in Armstrong's cap  4

Made me die laughing but you really have to support Lemond. He didn't jump on the let's hate Lance bandwagon; he started it.

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Ginsterdrz [88 posts] 3 years ago
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Leave it alone Greg.

Every outburst just brings his name back into the limelight.

LA is dethroned and gone.

Let's move on.

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samwstraw [27 posts] 3 years ago
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Greg Lemond has every right to say what he thinks. This man was bullied, intimidated and almost bankrupted by Armstrong.

Armstrong WAS different. Cheating at a bicycle race is one thing, but suing those who try and do what is right, ending people's careers and using the cancer community to shield him from accusations is another altogether.

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arfa [841 posts] 3 years ago
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Beyond time for a truth and reconciliation comittee. I can only imagine Armstrong's "hallelujah" tweet at Cookson's election was in the hope of this. Perhaps I missed it but I haven't seen an awful lot of contrition so so long Lance, you are an amazing cancer survivor but nothing else.

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dreamlx10 [185 posts] 3 years ago
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Funny how all the Lance "Fanboys" with Livestrong wristbands have disappeared.

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zok27 [4 posts] 3 years ago
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If I'm not mistaken, the Live strong wristbands were for his cancer charity. Not really a supporting Armstrong like a football shirt or a discovery channel cycling kit.
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Ghostie [93 posts] 3 years ago
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On another note, anybody else just seen the pic of Ben Foster as Armstrong for the forthcoming Stephen Frears' movie? I guess it's alright for a direct link to the story and pic here (??).

http://www.empireonline.com/news/story.asp?NID=39128

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hairyairey [301 posts] 3 years ago
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As I keep saying - if the Sunday Times had not settled with Armstrong and had him testify on oath here we could see him in jail for perjury. We don't have a statute of limitations on perjury (and neither should the USA - it's a very serious offence in their country someone could die as a result of lies in court).

Although if it's shown that he doped on his return to the sport then it's still possible. I am so disappointed in Lance.

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ch [188 posts] 3 years ago
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I think Greg's performances were great. I love the way he came back from an accidental hunting gunshot wound to the lung to win TdF.

It is however important to remember that we live in a world of human beings, whatever superhero status they may have they are still human. I read the infamous Sports Illustrated article below. I read the improbable account about iron injections alone giving Greg a tremendous boost. I understand that EPO must be given along with iron to allow new blood cells to be built, but iron alone does not stimulate stimulate incredible new red blood cell growth. The season in question was the season just prior to general release of EPO to the public. The possibility that gunshot wounded Greg was used as a guinea pig seems credible, although he would still carry some responsibility even if that were so.

To be honest what I see when I read the article is Greg trying to admit that something incredible or miraculous happened by taking the iron shots. Through this admission he achieves penance, because he has stated all that he knew with absolute certainty, while leaving it up to the listener to consider the same doubts that he himself might have harbored.

http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/cycling/1998/tourdefrance/tourdefrancea...

" LeMond had a second injection of iron and started feeling stronger. He actually stayed within shouting distance of the leaders on a late mountain stage of the Tour of Italy, which was such a morale booster that he wanted an all-out test. Being hopelessly out of contention in the overall standings, LeMond decided to go for broke in the final stage of the Tour of Italy, an individual time trial of just under 34 miles. He would hold nothing back, start to finish. If he ran out of gas — "blew up," in cycling parlance — so be it. But LeMond didn't blow up. He finished second, a whopping minute and 18 seconds ahead of Fignon, the overall winner. "It changed my entire outlook," says LeMond. "Obviously, there was nothing wrong with me physically.""

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Leviathan [2475 posts] 3 years ago
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Lance's true position is unknowable, so its a cheap shot by Lemond. Then again he did lie in court, which is a crime; and the suing innocent people. Given that he probably will never go to jail maybe a few low blows are justified.

That Ben Foster pic is immaculate, how did the 90's get so retro. Some bike/kit consultant is getting paid well. Few pennies for the Graham Watson archive?

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Ush [873 posts] 3 years ago
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crazy-legs wrote:

Not really, he's doing the oh-so-popular thing of bashing Armstrong in an attempt to garner some free publicity for himself and he's certainly got an axe to grind (perfectly understandable given the circumstances).

Obviously it wasn't that popular when Trek tried to shut him up.

Take your point on all the others who have "boosted", whether it was amphetamines in the 60s or EPO in the 90s, but the sanctimonious "cancer survivor" crap is what really sealed Armstrong's doom for me.

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jazzdude [76 posts] 3 years ago
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In reply to @crazy-legs

Yes I totally agree with you. I don't defend Armstrong's lies but it has seemed that the other riders who won large sums of money and were later exposed as having doped seem to have got off far more lightly. Why is Bjarne Riis still listed as the TdF winner for 1996 when he's admitted that he doped?

I still think Greg is a top blike.

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Kim Chee [37 posts] 3 years ago
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 41 its so bad LeMond bikes were canned due to conflict with Lance-who really knows how much $$$ was lost to such a deserving man. His (LeMond!!!) top model in
Reynolds steel was one heavenly rinding bike.

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Kim Chee [37 posts] 3 years ago
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 19 Maybe they should go out hunting together to try to patch things up and get along.

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GerardR [133 posts] 3 years ago
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You mean, have another shot at getting along?

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georgee [175 posts] 3 years ago
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Looking at the film picture, he could have at least have bothered working on his leg muscles for it!

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Trevmeister74 [2 posts] 3 years ago
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dreamlx10 wrote:

Funny how all the Lance "Fanboys" with Livestrong wristbands have disappeared.

https://www.facebook.com/cyclingnews

I'm afraid not, read the Facebook comments on the same story, clever lot them Trekkers! Just read "Slaying the Badger" now have even more respect for the Lemond!

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