Doha – Former Olympic swimming champion Ian Thorpe said on Wednesday he was “happy” at Lance Armstrong's downfall and congratulated the doping authorities that exposed the seven-time Tour de France winner as a drug cheat.
“I was happy. It shows that no matter who you are and whatever you do, you can fall,” Thorpe said onthe closing day of the Doha Goals sporting forum.
The Australian legend paid tribute to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and its president Travis Tygart who was at the heart of revealing Armstrong's systematic doping that helped him become the biggest name in the sport.
“The culture that reins in the United States and elsewhere is one of the reasons that lead to doping,” said Tygart.
“We have also uncovered doping in roller skating, a non-Olympic discipline that has been carrying out very sophisticated doping programmes that we have never seen before and was carried out by the fathers and coaches,” he continued.
“The fight against doping is at the centre of our debates here in Doha.”
Thorpe, once suspected of taking banned substances before being cleared, added: “It's right that we talk about the possibility of seeing changes introduced to our society across the world of sport. To see doping means that we have not yet managed to protect our people,” said Thorpe.
The 2000 Olympic triple jump champion and world record holder Jonathan Edwards is also in attendance in Doha and offered his viewpoints on the subject.
“When people watch a competition, we do not know if it is fair and there is a great question over the credibility of the event. People need to believe in the athletes.” added the double world champion. – Sapa-AFP