In an interview with Global Cycling Network, Irish journalist David Walsh said he felt that Lance Armstrong’s longtime team manager Johan Bruyneel is very bit as complicit in the U.S. Postal Service doping conspiracy as Armstrong, and has no place in the sport of cycling.
A decorated writer for The Sunday Times, and the author of “L.A. Confidentiel” and “From Lance to Landis,” Walsh recently published a third book, “Seven Deadly Sins: My Pursuit of Lance Armstrong,” following Armstrong’s downfall at the hands of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency; it will be available in the U.S. later this month.
In the first installment of his interview with GCN’s Daniel Lloyd, Walsh said that Armstrong’s critical mistake was underestimating former teammate Floyd Landis.
In the second installment, Walsh spoke at length about Armstrong’s years of deception, and whether or not he might ever give a tell-all interview with the likes of Oprah Winfrey.
In the third installment, released Thursday, Walsh told Lloyd that Armstrong, “seized the opportunity of doping to make himself the most successful cyclist in the history of the Tour de France.”
“I think Lance would have to be the number-one villain in my eyes, and I don’t want to categorize him as that, but I don’t think there was anyone more cynical,” Walsh said. “I think what Lance did to Emma O’Reilly was despicable beyond belief, and everything he’s got, in terms of the consequences of his doping being discovered, he deserves.”
Asked about those who have damaged the sport the most, Walsh said, “I think Lance was a particular case. I think he saw doping as an opportunity. He embraced that opportunity and he decided, ‘If our doping program was better than everybody else’s, we would have such an advantage,’ because doping is such a big influence on competition.”
Walsh also had pointed words for Bruyneel, who faces arbitration with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, saying, “If you could put cynicism into human form you’ve got Johan Bruyneel. I think he had an attitude to doping that was wretched. That thing of, ‘Doping is our business — it’s not your business. Don’t even dare ask, we do whatever we like, and you have no right to know.’ Cycling was never going to recover as long as people like Johan Bruyneel were involved, so I look forward to him not being involved in the world of cycling.”
Editor’s note: Additional installments of Global Cycling Network’s interview with Walsh will be posted daily over the coming week.