Lance Armstrong on forgiveness: ‘We’re getting close to that time’

11 Comments

Lance Armstrong was asked by the BBC if he was a man on the street, a cycling fan, would he forgive Armstrong now, say it’s time to move on, two years after Armstrong admitted to doping during his career.

“That’s really not fair,” Armstrong said in a wide-ranging interview. “Listen, I’m not going to lie to you. Selfishly, I would say, yeah, we’re getting close to that time, but that’s me. My word doesn’t matter anymore. What matters is ultimately what collectively those people on the street, whether that’s the cycling community, the cancer community, it matters what they think. Listen, of course I want to be out of timeout. I mean, what kid doesn’t?”

Armstrong answered on more topics, including if he thought he should get his seven stripped Tour de France titles back from 1999 to 2005. The titles were not given to the second-place finishers or anyone else. Most of the best cyclists from Armstrong’s era admitted to doping, too, some of whom have not been stripped of Tour accolades.

“It’s not for me to say,” Armstrong said, according to the BBC’s transcript. “If I’m not the winner … I think there has to be a winner. I’m just saying that as a fan.

“If you go to Wikipedia and you look at the Tour de France, there’s this huge block in World War I with no winners, and there’s another block in World War II. And then it seems like there’s another world war. There has to be a winner.

“But I’m not trying to, you know, puff myself up. It was an unfortunate time. It was a terrible time, an imperfect storm … there needs to be a winner.

“I don’t think history is stupid. I can tell you history isn’t stupid. History ultimately rectifies a lot of these things. If you had to ask me what I think happens in 50 years, I don’t think it sits empty in 50 years. Maybe somebody else’s name is there. But you can’t leave it empty.”

Armstrong was also asked if he would take performance-enhancing drugs again.

“It’s a complicated question, and my answer is not a popular answer,” Armstrong said, according to the BBC transcript. “If I was racing in 2015, no, I wouldn’t do it again, because I don’t think you have to do it again. If you take me back to 1995, when it was completely and totally pervasive, I’d probably do it again. People don’t like to hear that.”

Armstrong took issue with facets of his lifetime ban. First, that the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency called his U.S. Postal Service team’s systematic doping “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.”

“Lance Armstrong is not the biggest fraud in the history of world sport,” Armstrong said, according to the BBC transcript. “U.S. Postal was not the most sophisticated doping program. To say that in light of all you read about the East Germans, the West Germans, the Turks, the Russians, God forbid, all the other major sports leagues in the world. No.”

Armstrong said he’s frustrated that he couldn’t do something like, for example, run the Boston Marathon in 4 hours, 15 minutes and raise $100,000 for charity.

“I don’t know how anybody thinks that’s right,” Armstrong said. “Nothing benefits me by going and running a slow marathon.”

Armstrong regretted the timing of his Oprah Winfrey interview in January 2013, saying it “probably needed another three to six months” before happening.

“The fallout has been heavy, maybe heavier than even I thought,” Armstrong told the BBC. “But it seems like there’s some light at the end of the tunnel.”

Greg LeMond against reducing Armstrong’s band

Eliud Kipchoge breaks marathon world record in Berlin

Eliud Kipchoge Berlin Marathon
Getty
0 Comments

Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge broke his own world record in winning the Berlin Marathon, clocking 2:01:09 to lower the previous record time of 2:01:39 he set in the German capital in 2018.

Kipchoge, 37 and a two-time Olympic champion, earned his 15th win in 17 career marathons to bolster his claim as the greatest runner in history over 26.2 miles.

His pacing was not ideal. Kipchoge slowed in the final miles, running 61:18 for the second half after going out in an unprecedented 59:51 for the first 13.1 miles. He still won by 4:49 over Kenyan Mark Korir.

“I was planning to go through it [the halfway mark] 60:50, 60:40,” Kipchoge said. “My legs were running actually very fast. I thought, let me just try to run two hours flat, but all in all, I am happy with the performance.

“We went too fast [in the first half]. It takes energy from the muscles. … There’s still more in my legs [to possibly lower the record again].”

MORE: Berlin Marathon Results

Ethiopian Tigist Assefa won the women’s race in 2:15:37, the third-fastest time in history for somebody who ran one prior marathon in 2:34:01. Only Brigid Kosgei (2:14:14 in Chicago in 2019) and Paula Radcliffe (2:15:25 in London in 2003) have gone faster.

American record holder Keira D’Amato, who entered as the top seed, was sixth in 2:21:48. D’Amato, who went nearly a decade between competitive races after college, owns the American record of 2:19:12 and now also the 10th-best time in U.S. history.

“Today wasn’t my best day ever, but it was the best I could do today,” she said in a text message, according to Race Results Weekly, adding that she briefly stopped and walked late in the race.

The last eight instances the men’s marathon world record has been broken, it has come on the pancake-flat roads of Berlin. It began in 2003, when Kenyan Paul Tergat became the first man to break 2:05.

The world record was 2:02:57 — set by Kenyan Dennis Kimetto in 2014 — until Kipchoge broke it for the first time four years ago.

The following year, Kipchoge became the first person to cover 26.2 miles in under two hours, clocking 1:59:40 in a non-record-eligible showcase rather than a race.

Kipchoge’s focus going forward is trying to become the first runner to win three Olympic marathon titles in Paris in 2024. He also wants to win all six annual World Marathon Majors. He’s checked off four of them, only missing Boston (run in April) and New York City (run every November).

Kipchoge grew up on a farm in Kapsabet in Kenya’s Rift Valley, often hauling by bike several gallons of the family’s milk to sell at the local market. Raised by a nursery school teacher, he ran more than three miles to and from school. He saved for five months to get his first pair of running shoes.

At 18, he upset legends Hicham El Guerrouj and Kenenisa Bekele to win the 2003 World 5000m title on the track. He won Olympic 5000m medals (bronze in 2004 and silver in 2008), then moved to the marathon after failing to make the 2012 Olympic team on the track.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup schedule, results

FIBA Women's World Cup
Getty
0 Comments

The U.S. goes for its fourth consecutive title at the FIBA World Cup in Sydney — and eighth global gold in a row overall when including the Olympics.

A’ja Wilson, a two-time WNBA MVP, and Breanna Stewart, the Tokyo Olympic MVP, headline a U.S. roster that, for the first time since 2000, includes neither Sue Bird (retired) nor Diana Taurasi (injured).

The new-look team includes nobody over the age of 30 for the first time since 1994, before the U.S. began its dynasty at the 1996 Atlanta Games. The Americans have won 52 consecutive games between worlds and the Olympics dating to the 2006 Worlds bronze-medal game.

The field also includes host Australia, the U.S.’ former primary rival, and Olympic silver medalist Japan.

Nigeria, which played the U.S. the closest of any foe in Tokyo (losing by nine points), isn’t present after its federation withdrew the team over governance issues. Spain, ranked second in the world, failed to qualify.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup Schedule

Date Time (ET) Game Round
Wed., Sept. 21 8:30 p.m. Puerto Rico 82, Bosnia and Herzegovina 58 Group A
9:30 p.m. USA 87, Belgium 72 Group A
11 p.m. Canada 67, Serbia 60 Group B
Thurs., Sept. 22 12 a.m. Japan 89, Mali 56 Group B
3:30 a.m. China 107, South Korea 44 Group A
6:30 a.m. France 70, Australia 57 Group B
8:30 p.m. USA 106, Puerto Rico 42 Group A
10 p.m. Serbia 69, Japan 64 Group B
11 p.m. Belgium 84, South Korea 61 Group A
Fri., Sept. 23 12:30 a.m. China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51 Group A
4 a.m. Canada 59, France 45 Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia 118, Mali 58 Group B
Sat., Sept. 24 12:30 a.m. USA 77, China 63 Group A
4 a.m. South Korea 99, Bosnia and Herzegovina 66 Group A
6:30 a.m. Belgium 68, Puerto Rico 65 Group A
Sun., Sept. 25 12:30 a.m. France 74, Mali 59 Group B
4 a.m. Australia 69, Serbia 54 Group B
6:30 a.m. Canada 70, Japan 56 Group B
9:30 p.m. Belgium vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
11:30 p.m. Mali vs. Serbia Group B
Mon., Sept. 26 12 a.m. USA vs. South Korea Group A
2 a.m. France vs. Japan Group B
3:30 a.m. China vs. Puerto Rico Group A
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Canada Group B
9:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. South Korea Group A
11:30 p.m. Belgium vs. China Group A
Tues., Sept. 27 12 a.m. USA vs. Bosnia and Herzegovina Group A
2 a.m. Canada vs. Mali Group B
3:30 a.m. France vs. Serbia Group B
6:30 a.m. Australia vs. Japan Group B
Wed., Sept. 28 10 p.m. Quarterfinal
Thurs., Sept. 29 12:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
4 a.m. Quarterfinal
6:30 a.m. Quarterfinal
Fri., Sept. 30 3 .m. Semifinal
5:30 a.m. Semifinal
11 p.m. Third-Place Game
Sat., Oct. 1 2 a.m. Final