Lance Armstrong chides cloud of doping

Updated: January 13, 2011, 2:47 AM ET
Associated Press

ADELAIDE, Australia -- Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said he isn't happy about the high level of doping in cycling but blames it on the sport's strenuous efforts to expose drug cheats.

Armstrong said too many cyclists have tested positive for banned substances and that other sports would have similar records if athletes were monitored as closely.

The 38-year-old American has been linked to a U.S. federal investigation into drug use by cyclists, prompted by allegations from disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis. Armstrong said he was not concerned personally at being mentioned in doping investigations, but regretted the blemish on cycling.

"I can't say no; you would have to say yes," Armstrong said. "But to me, that is really a byproduct of the sport trying harder than any other sport.

"I know if you laid those controls over any other world sport, especially one as demanding as cycling, you would have as many, if not more, positives."

Armstrong made the comments at a news conference at Rowland Flat in South Australia's Barossa Valley wine region, shortly after his arrival for the Tour Down Under, which starts Sunday.

The six-day tour will be Armstrong's final professional race outside the United States.

"I have never been one to sit around and reminisce much," he said. "It would be a mistake for me to think back on the stuff that I did on the bike when I have things in front of me that are much bigger than that."


Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press