Cycling Australia boss labels Armstrong delusional

Cycling Australia president Klaus Mueller has launched a stinging attack on Lance Armstrong, labelling the self-confessed drug cheat delusional following his interview with Oprah Winfrey.

  • Published: 20/01/2013 at 10:45 AM
  • Newspaper section: news

Photo provided by OWN on January 15, 2013 shows Oprah Winfrey during her exclusive interview with Lance Armstrong. Cycling Australia president Klaus Mueller has labelled the self-confessed drug cheat delusional following his interview with Oprah.

"It was the most phoney, half-hearted, appalling confession from a bloke who has been so reprehensible in his conduct," Mueller told News Limited newspapers on Sunday.

"It was half-baked and pathetic. He's verging on delusional.

"There was a lack of any real contrition, there was no real apology to the sport to which he's done enormous damage.

"That was the most disappointing of all, the lack of acknowledgement to the damage he's done to the sport."

Mueller, a Melbourne barrister who argues that doping should be a criminal offence, said Armstrong's confession was designed to protect his wealth.

Triathlon Australia boss Anne Gripper, former head of world cycling's anti-doping unit, agreed with Mueller, labelling the seven-time Tour de France winner a bully and compulsive liar who did not deserve a second chance.

"He's not (just) a drug cheat -- he's a bully, he's a manipulator, he's been incredibly unfair to a whole lot of people and he's a dead-set liar," Gripper told Australian Associated Press.

"(He's) not a single, one-off liar, he's a pathological liar... I don't want those people in our sport."

There has been speculation Armstrong was driven to confess by a desire to return to professional sport as a marathon runner or triathlete, but Gripper said there was little prospect of that.

However, she said the confession would allow cycling to move on.

"The big one was always Lance, I always knew the sport could never, never really move forward until the festering bubble that was 'Did he or didn't he?' ... had been fully exposed," she said.

Gripper said she remained curious about why the US doping authority's investigation into Armstrong abruptly ended in 2011, something she said she had always put down to "this inordinate influence that Lance Armstrong had".

"It would be interesting whether there is some review of that investigation."

Cycling Australia's Mueller has promised to implement the key recommendations of an independent review into the sport in Australia, which followed the resignations of men's road coach Matt White and vice-president Stephen Hodge after doping revelations.

"If you cheat to obtain a financial advantage, it ought to be criminal conduct," he said. "He (Armstrong) ought to be thankful he's not getting a protracted view from behind bars.

"I have urged the (Australian) government to make cheating in sport, whether it's doping or betting, criminal conduct."

In the first instalment of the Oprah Winfrey interview aired on Thursday, the 41-year-old Armstrong admitted for the first time that an array of performance-enhancing drugs helped sweep him to a record seven Tour de France titles from 1999-2005.

The second segment was aired on Friday.

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Writer: AFP
Position: News agency

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