YEONGAM, South Korea (AFP) –
Mark Webber said Thursday that evidence against the cyclist Lance Armstrong of widespread doping sent a warning to all sports that performance-enhancing drugs would not be tolerated.
Armstrong was at the heart of the biggest doping conspiracy in sports history when he won the Tour de France seven years in a row, a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report said Wednesday.
The Australian Webber, a keen cyclist who drives for Red Bull, called the affair “disappointing” and said he had lost some of his passion for cycling.
“It’s been quite obvious in the last few years that this (doping) was going to come out,” he told a press conference ahead of the Korean Grand Prix.
“It’s good that they are trying to clean this sport (cycling) up. It sends a message to lots of sports, and it’s a good message.”
And he added: “Karma will come and get you.”
Fernando Alonso, the leader in the Formula One drivers’ championship, who is also a keen cyclist, said Armstrong, who recovered from testicular cancer, had been “an inspiration for us, for many people in the world”.
Alonso added: “He will remain an inspiration for many people.”
Armstrong, who denies any wrongdoing, was banned for life in August.
Eyewitness testimony of Armstrong taking EPO and testosterone and having blood transfusions came from such former teammates as Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis, admitted dope cheats, and George Hincapie, who confessed Wednesday that he took performance-enhancing drugs.