Speaking on the eve of the start of the centenary Tour de France today, Armstrong said it was impossible to win the Tour de France clean in his era.
The American, who has been stripped of his seven Tour de France wins following an investigation by USADA, said he was part of a drugs culture but was not responsible for it.
In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, when asked if it was possible to win drug-free when he raced he said: “It depends on the races. The Tour de France? No. Impossible without doping.”
“My name was taken out of the palmares but the Tour was held between 1999 and 2005 wasn’t it? There must be a winner then. Who is he? Nobody came forward to claim my jerseys.”
While the USADA probe that brought down Armstrong concluded he had used the most sophisticated doping programme in the history of the sport and had groomed others to take drugs, the American was anxious to distance himself from leading the doping problem.
“I did not invent doping, I just took part in the system. The USADA reasoned decision perfectly managed to destroy a man’s life but has not benefited cycling.”
“Pat McQuaid can say and think what he wants, and pretend to be tough on doping. He’s got no credit for this. The sport needs new leadership to try and regain credibility. It simply can’t move on with McQuaid as the leader.”