Cycling - Armstrong slams 'pathetic' McQuaid, is the 'scapegoat'

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong feels he is the scapegoat of a sport that has always been subject to cheating, and has called UCI president Pat McQuaid "pathetic".

Asked whether he felt he was the 'fall guy for an entire sport/system', Armstrong, who was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles for doping, told Cyclingnews: "Actually, yes I do. But I understand why. We all make the beds we sleep in."

Armstrong, 41, confessed to doping this month, saying he used performance-enhancing drugs from the mid-1990s to 2005.

He believes, however, that every cycling generation cheated.

"My generation was no different than any other. The 'help' has evolved over the years but the fact remains that our sport is damn hard, the Tour was invented as a 'stunt'... and for a century all (riders) looked for advantages," he said.

"From hopping on trains a 100 years ago to EPO now. No generation was exempt or 'clean'. Not Merckx's, not Hinault's, not LeMond's, not Coppi's, not Gimondi's, not Indurain's, not Anquetil's, not Bartali's and not mine.

"As much as I'm the eye of the storm this is not about one man, one team, one director. This is about cycling and to be frank it's about all endurance sports. Publicly lynching one man and his team will not solve this problem."

Armstrong also launched a stinging attack on UCI president Pat McQuaid, saying: "Pat is just in constant CYA (Cover Your Ass) mode. Pathetic.

"A long time ago, when I was on speaking terms with Pat McQuaid many, many months ago I said, 'Pat, you better think bold here. A full blown, global TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) is our sport's best solution. He wanted to hear nothing of it."