Saddened Federer says Armstrong's cheating hurt all sport

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:08am EST
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By Nick Mulvenney

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Tennis great Roger Federer said he was saddened by American cyclist Lance Armstrong's admission that he cheated his way to seven Tour de France wins and believed it would have a negative impact on all sport.

Armstrong confessed in a televised interview with chat show host Oprah Winfrey this week to using banned performance-enhancing substances to establish himself as one of the biggest names in sport.

"What a sad story," 17-times grand-slam winner Federer said after reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open on Saturday.

"I don't know what to say. It just really saddens me to see that someone did this for such a long time.

"Obviously he's hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.

"I'm an active athlete right now and it's not fun times really to be in sports to a degree. I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes of the interview and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don't really care.

"It's just very saddening this story, to be honest."

Serena Williams, who has won 15 grand slam titles, earlier admitted she had been "glued" to the televised confessional.   Continued...

Roger Federer of Switzerland hits a return to Bernard Tomic of Australia during their men's singles match at the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne January 19, 2013. REUTERS/Daniel Munoz