“It’s been a difficult couple of weeks” says Armstrong
Sunday, 21 October 2012
October 21 – Lance Armstrong said it has been "a difficult couple of weeks" in his first public remarks since the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) accused the seven-time Tour de France winner of being a serial cheat who led "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".
The 41-year-old (pictured above) from Texas was speaking at the Livestrong Foundation's 15th anniversary gala at the Austin Convention Centre, just days after stepping down as the cancer charity's chairman as a result of the allegations that have rocked cycling.
Rather than addressing directly the damning charges against him, Armstrong gave a brief insight into how he has been feeling after receiving widespread criticism from the world of sport.
"It's been a difficult couple of weeks," said Armstrong, who continues to deny the allegations despite not legally defending himself against them.
"I've been better and I've also been worse.
"But this mission is bigger than me.
"It's bigger than any individual."
Armstrong's comments come as the International Cycling Union (UCI), who are also under pressure for failing to uncover the doping operation, prepare to strip the American of his seven Tour de France titles from 1995 to 2005.
They could also ask him to pay back at least $4 million (£2.5 million/€3.1 million) in race winnings.
Sponsors who have already dropped Armstrong included Nike and Anheuser-Busch.
A new blog post from his ex-wife Kristen has also heaped further pressure on Armstrong.
She has been accused of being in on the doping, calling the blood booster EPO "butter" because she and Armstrong hid EPO in their butter.
"His choices were, and are, his," she wrote.
"And mine are mine.
"And they haven't always been pretty.
"I am sorry if this is disappointing to you."
Despite the post, Armstrong's ex-wife said she wasn't able to talk freely about the allegations because of non-disclosure agreements.