DeCanio: 'I will never truly respect him'
Former racer Matt Decanio watched his last pro contract dry up in 2005 after he posted inflammatory comments about Armstrong on his website, Stolen Underground.
A talented young American who once wore the race leader’s jersey at the Tour de Beauce, DeCanio made waves throughout the cycling community in the summer of 2004 when he admitted he had used EPO during the 2003 Tour of Connecticut stage race. Though he had never tested positive, DeCanio’s guilty conscience overtook him. He sat out the 2004 season and began posting controversial, staunchly anti-doping screeds on his website. Topics varied from his own doping experiences to highly personal admissions of depression, as well as specific accusations directed toward pro riders, including Armstrong.
Armstrong admits to doping
As he did nearly a decade ago, DeCanio feels Armstrong’s influence in the sport led to his dismissal, and he still harbors anger over the way his career ended.
“Lance was obviously doping. David Clinger, who was on the U.S. Postal Service team, told me about the doping on the team,” DeCanio said. “I got to the point where I felt I had to do it. I shouldn’t have done it. And that shows the power of being a leader, like Lance. When things get hard, it’s so easy to follow a leader like that.”
DeCanio knew that accusing Armstrong of doping had marginalized him within the pro peloton, but he said his militant position was aimed toward deterring young riders from making the mistakes he’d made.
“So many people doped back then, and Lance was destroying everyone who was speaking out against it, making an example of anyone he could, using his abilities to destroy anyone who stood against him,” DeCanio said.
Asked what an Armstrong apology would need to look like in order to be accepted, DeCanio said, “For me to respect Lance, he would have to be completely honest. He would need to say, ‘When I was this age, this person told me I had to do this, this person enabled this.’ He would have to out every person involved, and expose the secrets of the whole system. There’s a lot of stuff that has not come out yet.
“If Lance were to do that, and dedicate the rest of his life to helping find a cure for cancer, and stop caring about his own life, and caring about wanting to race — if he could be selfless, instead of selfish, if he could prove he is trying to make a change — I would respect him more. But I will never truly respect him. He was an idol of mine, and his dictatorship over the sport… I can forgive, but I cannot forget. I want to forgive him, and I want something good to come out of it. But he has so much work to do, and I don’t see that he is willing to do it.”
Italy's Vincenzo Nibali took a major step towards overall victory in the Giro d'Italia on Thursday after powering to his first stage win during this year's race in an individual uphill time trial.
GENEVA (AP) - An independent panel will examine allegations that cycling's governing body was complicit in Lance Armstrong's doping.
PARIS (Reuters) - An analysis of Sylvain Georges's B sample has confirmed his failed drugs test during the Giro d'Italia, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Tuesday.
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