Ian Thorpe, the Aussie freestyle great who lived through a doping inquiry that cleared him with a "no case to answer conclusion" back in 2007, has told reporters at the Doha Goals sporting forum that he was "happy" when he heard of the downfall of US cyclist Lance Armstrong. The swimmer congratulated US doping authorities that exposed the seven-time Tour de France winner as a drugs cheat, AFP reported.
“I was happy. It shows that no matter who you are and whatever you do, you can fall,” said Thorpe before paying tribute to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and its president Travis Tygart, whose investigations uncovered deep deception.
“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 programs that we have never seen before and was carried out by the fathers and coaches. The fight against doping is at the centre of our debates here in Doha.”
Thorpe 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."
For many years, reporters and others who asked how it was possible for Armstrong to achieve what he had in the way that he did, were vilified and accused of mounting a witch hunt. It turned out that they were right. Those who pointed to cheating by the GDR, China, Michelle Smith and others, in the absence of a positive test, were treated to the same. Turned out they were right too.
Athlete biographies, including many in the swimming world, have been revised to erase a line that had Armstrong down as a hero since the cyclist fell from grace.