Merckx ‘amazed’ at Armstrong, says they never spoke about doctors
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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Merckx ‘amazed’ at Armstrong, says they never spoke about doctors

by Shane Stokes at 6:03 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
However Belgian was the one who introduced Armstrong to Ferrari

Eddy MerckxFormer top rider Eddy Merckx has expressed surprise at the Lance Armstrong news, criticising the rider after defending him for many years.

“I'm sick, exclusively for my sport,” the 67 year old said, according to Le Soir. “I met Lance many times, he never spoke to me about doping, doctors or other things.”

Merckx statement is an unusual one, though, as Armstrong’s controversial doctor Michele Ferrari has made clear in the past that he was personally introduced to the Texan by the Belgian.

According to previous interviews with Ferrari, Merckx introduced the two in the mid-90s. Merckx’s son Axel was being trained by Ferrari at the time, and Armstrong began a collaboration that would be interrupted when he contracted testicular cancer, but restarted after his return.

Now, years later, Merckx is insisting that he had no idea doping was going on. “He didn't have to report to me either, it was his problem but I fell into the trap. I'm amazed at him, above all after what he went through,” he stated.

He also said that he was frustrated with the whistleblowers in the case, saying that they left it too late to come forward with details of what went on in the past. “I'm angry at the riders for speaking to investigators. Damn it, that they speak up at the time, at least that would be useful,” he stated.

“Afterwards is too late. If a rider is concerned about questionable practices, it's his duty to speak up for the good of others.”


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