Andy Sutcliffe left Britain’s Cycling Weekly the year before Lance Armstrong began his stretch of Tour de France victories; nonetheless he said in a radio interview that doping was a “well-known open secret for decades and decades and decades.” Armstrong “has no place in cycling,” International Cycling Union President Pat McQuaid said at a conference Monday announcing it won’t fight the decision to strip the Texan of his seven Tour titles.
Asked if he had any regrets about not speaking up sooner, Sutcliffe said: “100 per cent. I thought long and hard about doing this interview and I suppose it’s an element of a mea culpa on my behalf. And if other people won’t admit it it’s a mea culpa on their behalf.”
Sutcliffe said when he started at Cycling Weekly, riders and others told him “how dope tests could be got around, who was complicit in this sort of cover up. And I think that cover up went on and perhaps to some extent is still going on.”
He added: “I’ve been very surprised by some of the reactions of people saying they don’t know. I cannot believe that as editor of Cycling Weekly and then editor-in-chief of the main cycling mags in the UK that I was the only on who had any insight into this – it seems incredibly unlikely.”
Related: Armstrong “set a precedent for other athletes who would go on to use gorilla tactics to attempt to intimidate the media or silence accusers” | Sunday Times journalist David Walsh on his pursuit of Armstrong