Shamed American cyclist Lance Armstrong doesn't believe it's possible to win the sport's biggest race without the aid of doping.
Armstrong's claim comes on the eve of the 100th Tour de France and puts yet another dark cloud over the tainted history of the race.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Armstrong was asked whether it was possible to perform well without doping. Here is his response to that question:
"That depends on which races you wanted to win. The Tour de France? No. Impossible to win without doping. Because the Tour is a test of endurance where oxygen is decisive," said Armstrong.
Armstrong also said in the interview that his life has been ruined by the United States Anti-Doping Agency investigation that exposed his use of banned performance-enhancing drugs. Armstrong maintained his innocence for years until confessing to television host Oprah Winfrey in January that doping was just "part of the job" of being a professional cyclist.
Additionally, the 41-year-old still considers himself to be the record-holder for most Tour victories despite having all seven of his titles stripped last year for doping.
"It is fine to erase my name from the record book, but the Tour was held between 1999-2005, wasn't it? It was held and there was a winner. Who was he? No one has manifested to claim my jerseys," Armstrong said.
According to International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid, the timing of Armstrong's controversial comments couldn't have come at a worse time.
"I can tell him categorically that he is wrong. His comments do absolutely nothing to help cycling," McQuaid said in a statement. "The culture within cycling has changed since the Armstrong era and it is now possible to race and win clean."
It's no wonder why Forbes recently named Armstrong one of America's most disliked athletes. The guy just doesn't get it.
Via USA TODAY