Sky Sports views

Lance Armstrong admitted to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey this week. Sky Sports News has been getting the reaction of experts...

Last Updated: 18/01/13 11:11am

Brian Smith, former team-mate

"He said what most people wanted to hear, that he did take drugs - but it isn't news to us because of the USADA report. Everybody knew, so he just confirmed that at the top of the programme. He never went into any details and, for me, there are still a lot of questions still to be answered.

"Nobody likes to see the word 'doping' associated with cycling, especially after the decade or more Lance was involved but we keep on dragging our sport back a few years instead of looking forward. We had a great Olympics last year, Bradley Wiggins won the Tour de France with Team Sky, we're seeing so many young people getting involved in the sport - everything's fantastic. We're in a very good way and moving forwards but we just need some of the information Lance and his fellows are privy to in order to help USADA and WADA and the UCI make sure it doesn't happen again, because that's the last thing we want."

Brian Cookson, President of British Cycling

"At last he's told the truth, but there's still a lot more to come out. I'd like him to name some more names because he wasn't doing this on his own, he had people supporting him such as doctors, coaches, managers and lawyers who have been less than truthful in the past.

"It's a cathartic moment for Lance Armstrong, whether it's a cathartic moment for cycling is another matter. We've known for quite a while this is what happened and the way he cheated, lied and bullied and now he's finally admitted it. This is more about Lance Armstrong than the sport of cycling. He's gone a couple of steps along the road to redemption but he's got a long, long journey ahead of him and I certainly don't want to see him back in our sport - and I'd be very surprised if any other sport wants him to take part in their sport either.

"We should be angry and learn the lessons of the mistakes of the past. What he's done is unforgivable but in many ways the sport has moved on. One good thing he did do was say the testing procedures have made a big difference and when he did return into this era he wasn't able to perform at the same level. We are as a sport moving on - anti-doping has moved on considerably since his era - and we're in a better era where we're much more confident in the people we've got performing at the highest level."

Andy Parkinson UK Anti-Doping Chief Executive

"It was a fairly predictable public relations exercise. If we look at the positives, then people like David Walsh have been vindicated, Travis Tygart from US Anti-Doping Agency, and probably the cycling fans can now progress knowing their hero was a cheat and a bully in his own words.

"He needs to speak to the authorities, it's all very well going on primetime TV in the US but what he needs to do is sit down with USADA, tell them what happened and why it happened because we need to learn from the mistakes of the past.

"I've been in front of athletes who are ashamed of what they've done in the past and this didn't ring in the same way to me. From what I can see this is an action that's been forced on him, rather than him coming forward. The point he makes about 'to win the Tour de France you have to cheat' is bemusing because he was the winner for seven years so of course you had to cheat, because he was cheating. He had a responsibility to stop that and he didn't do that.

"Just because everybody else was doing it, does that make it right? This case has started to blur the edges around what's right and wrong. When you're talking to young athletes you want to be clear where that line sits: cheating is wrong, it destroys lives, don't do it.

"This has put cycling at the abyss. Cycling is a fantastic sport, as we saw at the Olympics. It's in a better place now than it was when Armstrong retired, we've got much better programmes in place, the biological passport is in place and, in the UK, we've got good relationships with the law enforcement which has got to be the way forward."