I'm portrayed as cycling's Voldemort, says Armstrong
LONDON (Reuters) - Lance Armstrong will still ride parts of this year's Tour de France route for charity despite feeling as popular as Voldemort, the unspeakable villain of the Harry Potter movies.
The American, stripped by cycling governing body UCI of his seven Tour victories in 2012 because of systematic doping, is supporting former England international soccer player and fellow cancer survivor Geoff Thomas in a fund-raising ride.
His presence on the same roads that will see the Tour pass through days later was described as "disrespectful and inappropriate" by UCI chief Brian Cookson in March.
"I'm that guy everybody wants to pretend never lived," the former U.S. Postal team rider Armstrong said in an interview in the Daily Telegrpah.
"But it happened, everything happened. We know what happened. Now it's swung so far the other way... who's that character in Harry Potter they can't talk about? Voldemort?
"It's on every level. If you watch the Tour on American TV, if you read about it, it's as if you can't mention him."
Armstrong, who is still fighting a lifetime ban and a $100 million lawsuit instigated by his former U.S. Postal team mate Floyd Landis which he says would ruin him, said Cookson should be concentrating on more important things than his charity ride.
"But I do know that me and Geoff riding in France for this cause is the least of his problems," he said.
"If he is making public comments -- and this is as strong as I'll go -- he needs to be talking about other things because this sport is not in a good place for a variety of reasons." Continued...