Armstrong 'not surprised' by EPO use in Tour de France

Lance Armstrong has said he is “not surprised” that 18 top riders in the 1998 Tour de France have been named by the French Senate as having taken the blood-boosting agent EPO.

Armstrong said “virtually all of us” broke the rules on doping.

The French Senate has released the names of 18 riders including the top two in the 1998 Tour, Italian Marco Pantani and Germany’s Jan Ullrich, who tested for EPO.

A further 13 riders were named as having suspicious samples.

Armstrong told “My initial reaction is that I am not surprised. As I have said, it was an unfortunate era for all of us and virtually all of us broke the rules, and lied about it.”

The results were analyses in 2004 and also revealed Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 1999. He has been stripped of his seven Tour titles but no action has been taken against the late Pantani and Ullrich who have kept their podium places.

“I will leave this up to other people and the passage of time to determine if the punishments doled out, or not, meet the crimes on any individual basis,” added Armstrong, who reiterated his call for a truth and reconciliation commission to deal with doping.

He added: “If we don’t come together, have the conversation and draw a line in the sand and then move on, we’re all screwed.”

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