Cycling

Lance: Just treat me fairly!

 Lance Armstrong (AFP)
Lance Armstrong (AFP)

London - Disgraced former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has said he will testify with "100 percent transparency and honesty" at any independent enquiry into doping in cycling but wants assurances he will be treated fairly.

The 42-year-old Texan told the BBC World Service on Monday that there had to be consistency from those probing the extent of doping in the sport.

"If everyone gets the death penalty, then I'll take the death penalty," he said.

"If everyone gets a free pass, I'm happy to take a free pass. If everyone gets six months, then I'll take my six months."

Armstrong, who was stripped of his record seven Tour titles last year after a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation, has said previously that he believes he was treated unfairly and singled out for punishment.

Newly-elected International Cycling Union (UCI) president Brian Cookson wants a new independent commission to investigate allegations and confessions of past doping to try and restore credibility in the sport.

The UCI is also to audit its own anti-doping operations in the wake of the Armstrong scandal.

Armstrong told the BBC he would do whatever he could to "close the chapter and move things forward" even if any revelations might not prove "quite as juicy" as some people expected.

He questioned how much good any investigation would do ultimately.

"Do I think that this process has been good for cycling?" he asked. "No. I don't think our sport has been served well by going back 15 years.

"I don't think that any sport, or any political scenario, is well served going back 15 years. And if you go back 15 years, you might as well go back 30."

Armstrong said life had been "real tough" after his confession to television host Oprah Winfrey in January that he had used performance-enhancing drugs.

"I have experienced massive personal loss, massive loss of wealth while others have truly capitalised on this story," he said.

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