Half of living Tour de France winners say Lance Armstrong should get his titles back
"Lance Armstrong should be handed back his seven Tour de France titles, according to 12 of the 25 surviving winners of cycling’s biggest race.
“Armstrong should stay on that list,” said the Irishman Stephen Roche, who won the Tour in 1987. “In the 100-year history of the race you can’t not have a winner for seven years. Doping has been part of sport, not only for cycling, for decades. Who tells me Jacques Anquetil won clean? Should we take his victories away? Or why does Richard Virenque get to keep his polka dot jerseys?”
Those who felt that Armstrong should keep his titles were generally of the older generation, riders such as Felice Gimondi, Federico Bahamontes, Jan Janssen and 1980 winner Joop Zoetemelk. “They should never have erased Armstrong from the list. You can’t change results 10 years later. Of course it’s not good what he did but you can’t rewrite history,” Zoetemelk said.
Of the more recent winners only Andy Schleck and Oscar Pereiro felt Armstrong should keep his wins, with Schleck, who won his 2010 title after Alberto Contador tested positive, saying: “Who remembers who was second place in those races? I wouldn’t know myself. You can’t have seven races without a winner, so just leave Armstrong on the list.”