Anger against former champion still palpable amongst cycling organizers
San Francisco, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 02/21/2013 -- Following Lance Armstrong's name being dragged through the mud and wholly tarnished following the unearthing of his many doping offenses, he is unlikely to be on a massive list of invitees as the Tour de France organizers prepare the celebration of the 100th race.
As part of the festitivites, all the riders who managed to finish the Tour de France have been invited for the final day, with a total of invites measuring over 4,000. Nearly 500 former riders are expected to be at the finish line on the Champs-Elysees.
When asked if Armstrong would receive an invite, the Tour race director Christian Prudhomme looked stern in his response and stated, "That seems to me to be out of place now."
Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles, and banned from all cycling for life, following the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency report that showed the cyclist to be a serial cheat, as well as a ringleader of a widespread cheating effort.
Following years of denial, Armstrong finally confessed to the doping during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.
"No one could have imagined that he would publicly confess after years of denials, and denials that were firm and sometimes violent," Prudhomme said after a presentation for the 2014 Tour, which starts from the English city of Leeds. "No one could have imagined that, even a few weeks ago. I can't say more now because I don't know exactly what he will say, but it's obviously something striking."
Armstrong was the main talking point of the race when he was consistently winning from 1999-2005. When he unexpectedly came out of retirement to race in 2009 and 2010, his support was strong.
"For us, Armstrong is already the past, he doesn't have the seven titles anymore," Prudhomme said. "What you have to understand is the mechanism (behind the doping)."
Regarding Armstrong's confession on Oprah, L'Equipe wrote “The Night of the Liar”. "After more than 10 years of lies, should we believe everything that Lance Armstrong will say (Thursday) night on American television?" L'Equipe wrote.
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