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Lance Armstrong: I'd never cheat while playing golf

By John Wright

Lance Armstrong insists he would never cheat - at golf.

The disgraced American cyclist - who was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after admitting to doping throughout all of them - is a keen golfer and says the code of fair play is one of the things which most attracts him to the sport.

He said: "Golf is different from the culture of cycling when I was competing, and that's putting it mildly. Cycling was the Wild West. Nobody considered doping as cheating.

"It was an arms race where absolutely anything went, and it was every man for himself. You might consider me the last guy to have anything to say about cheating, but golf is different. I love adhering to a code of honour that we in cycling didn't have.

"If I moved my ball in the rough and got caught, I wouldn't just regret it, I'd be heartbroken forever. When I think about reform in cycling, I think about golf."

Armstrong also expressed his sympathy for the way the media have treated 14-time Major winner Tiger Woods after revelations about his private life led to the break-up of his marriage.

"Did the punishment for what Tiger did exceed the crime? As someone with some experience along those lines, I'd say it did. What happened was, the media changed," Armstrong added.

"Somewhere between the end of Michael Jordan's career in 2003 and Tiger's scandal in 2009, the media stopped being compliant to athletes and celebrities. They no longer protected them, because they no longer needed them.

"In the digital world, all that matters is the scoop. The upshot is that there are no more sacred cows out there, and a lot more harshness. If John Kennedy and Frank Sinatra were alive and conducting their lives the way they did in their primes, they'd be devoured."

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