Freire...personal translation, need to practice up anyways...not really the black/white answers that we crave these days....
The fault of doping is the cyclists'
Q-Armstrong won more Tours than anyone else and now he doens't exist in cycling, What do you think about that?
A-Cycling never be what it is today (without him). It has been a deception, not only Armstrong, but the degradation of the sport I love. Before we were heros and now were are suspicious. It's a pity. I would like to believe otherwise.
Q-But it's not like this...
A- People think that all the cyclists do the same and it's not like that. The controls are much more exhaustive (complete) now, they make things better. Nothing is like the way it was before, but still it's impossible to say that cycling is a clean sport becasue it isn't. Today, some riders the rules and others not. Like in all professions
Q- And have you been offerred doping products?
A- It's possible to be a professional cyclist without using doping, but each one makes his own history (everyone makes their own choices). I made my career without carying about what the others do or shouldn't do. I never had a single problem with anyone. If many people had thought the way I do, cycling would be different.
Q- I understand that you have said no?
A-One can win many other races that aren't the tour and say 'no.' The problem with this sport is that many are not worthy to be cyclists.
I have always exhibited a level performance. Maybe a little bit of class here and there but always around the same level. I didn't win a mountain stage in the Tour and then win a sprint the next day. It's always rare to see midlevel riders one day who are then top 5 in the Tour. Cyclists whose form goes up and down says a lot.
Q- An have there been ones among you?
A- There have been very clear cases. In the end, many have tested positive. They have done much harm to cycling, to the other ones (presumably who are clean). I feel that they have take victories, prestige and money (from the clean ones I presume here).
Q- And this is why we have arrived here?
A- Because of the ambition of certain people, for their economic interests. There are many cyclists who think: to work doing something else would be much worse than this, to win a bit of money, I'll risk it. Why not?
Q- The fault of doping lies w/ the cyclists then and not with the doctors which is what most people think?
A- Yes. In the first place the fault is with the cyclist because he decides what to do with his body, with his life and with his sport. Of course, there are always pressures. From yourself, the public, the team, the system. But it's possible to say no. I have to emphasize that teams have improved a lot in this way and the mentality is much more positive than before.
Q- Why has the Spanish peloton defended Armstong?
A- Spain is one of the places where the most cases have happened, most of the doctors (from here). But make no mistake, I live next to Italy and it's the same here. What has happened is that many foreign athletes have doped in Spain.
Q- And you, how do you see the other cyclists in the peloton?
A- I have won with respect and am also respectful of the others. I am among those who think ill of (doping). There is a lot of hypocrisy in the peloton. Many who have complained about others have then tested positive or were involved with suspicious doctors.
Q- You did complain about the 'whereabouts' system and that footballers don't have to do it?
A- Yes, I complained about the 'whereabouts' system because we pay for the sins (of other cyclists). And I don't want to have to deal with it at 8:00 a.m. with my kids there. And with respect to futbol, what isn't fair is that I have more tests in one year than they do in their entire life. We should all be equal before the law.
Q- You're never going to have any (suspicious) case after what you've said?
A- I don't think so. I've never had a problem and I believe I will never have one.
Q- Do you see some solution?
A- Yes, that the people making the controls aren't incompetent (I'm presuming the UCI here). If people don't get caught doping, it's not worth having these controls. And you can't go back. We must look at the future.