News24

Lance team forced me - doper

2012-10-10 22:15

Paris - Canadian cyclist Michael Barry, a former team-mate of Lance Armstrong's, said on Wednesday he was pressured to take performance-enhancing drugs for the US Postal Service Team.

Barry, who rode for the US Postal Service team from 2002 to 2006, was among 11 former team-mates of Armstrong's to provide sworn testimony for a United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report investigating the seven-time Tour de France winner.

"As a boy my dream was to become a professional cyclist who raced at the highest level in Europe," Barry said in a statement on his website. "I achieved my goal when I first signed a contract with the United States Postal Service Cycling team in 2002.

"Soon after I realised reality was not what I had dreamed. Doping had become an epidemic problem in professional cycling."

Barry said that shortly after joining the US Postal squad he was pressured into using performance-enhancing drugs, becoming part of what USADA called "the most sophisticated doping program in sport."

"After being encouraged by the team, pressured to perform and pushed to my physical limits I crossed a line I promised myself and others I would not: I doped," said Barry, who represented Canada in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "It was a decision I deeply regret.

"It caused me sleepless nights, took the fun out of cycling and racing, and tainted the success I achieved at the time. This was not how I wanted to live or race."

In 2006, the year after Armstrong claimed his seventh Tour de France title, Barry said he quit using performance-enhancing drugs and became an anti-doping crusader, although until Wednesday's report was released he had never admitted to doping.

After being contacted by USADA, Barry said he decided to come clean to help improve the sport for young cyclists.

"From 2006 until the end of my career in 2012, I chose to race for teams that took a strong stance against doping," Barry said. "Although I never confessed to my past, I wrote and spoke about the need for change.

"Cycling is now a cleaner sport, many teams have adopted anti-doping policies and most importantly I know a clean rider can now win at the highest level.

"I apologise to those I deceived. I will accept my suspension and any other consequences. I will work hard to regain people's trust." 

Reuters

Comments
  • edwin.i.jay - 2012-10-10 22:55

    Whatever. Barry didn't feel bad taking roids, neither did it impact his emotions regarding cycling or his achievements. He probably only stopped using because the agency picked something up and started tracking him. So he covered himself with a noble cause of anti-doping. And he is probably only coming clean now, because he retired so doesn't care if they find him guilty. He is getting some last moments of spotlight so want to make the most of it.

      joe.smit.549 - 2012-10-11 02:58

      And Lance still wants to be a hero?

      Tiaan Liebenberg - 2012-10-11 06:36

      There is power in confessing one's wrongs. Unlike a certain lance that is to arrogant and self-righteous

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-10-11 07:45

    I agree Clinton, at least then the public / paying spectator knows that athletes are competing on a equal footing but. ....... Perhaps too many jobs would be lost ?

  • mable.jacobs.90 - 2012-10-11 10:12

    Sad to see a beautiful sport reduced to a drug-house. Barry, did Lance have a gun 2 ur face when he 'forced' you to dope?

  • fran.aphane - 2012-10-11 11:21

    Most Americans are dope heads, remember Marion Jones and others? So there is no shock in all this coming out the the great American Lance Armstrong is a dope head. The guy is so arrogant, I met him when he was here in 2006 for some promotional 1 night visit to SA. He didn't greed staff at the hotel, he was moving around with about 20 entourage all wearing black & you couldn't even tell who he was if you didn't know him. It goes to show that the guy has always had something to hide. Why surround yourself with so make people if you are not the president. Bill Clinton came over to me and shook my hand when he visited at one time and asked how was my day but someone like lance saw the need to hide himself behind an entourage? Just like Julius Malema he surrounds himself with so many body guards and now we know that he is also been hiding something. I have no respect for such people. Sies man

  • bob.jaan.9 - 2012-10-11 11:53

    How will history remember Lie Strong after this scandal?? http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=489450791079790&set=a.161713713853501.38753.161706480520891&type=1&theater

  • hannah.p.mostert - 2012-10-11 12:03

    Wow his arrogant behavior now makes sense, what a let down to all his fans and children who saw him as a role model.

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