Lance Armstrong, who said just days ago that his latest fight to clear his name from a doping controversy had stoked his competitive desires, made clear yesterday he wasn't interested in returning to the sport he dominated.
"Sitting here today, dealing with all this stuff again, knowing if I were to go back, there's no way I could get a fair shake -- on the roadside, in doping control, or the labs," the seven-time Tour de France winner said in a conference call.
"I'm happy with the way my career went and ended and I'm not coming back," Armstrong said.
Armstrong and his handlers spent most of the remaining 45 minutes with reporters criticizing WADA chief Dick Pound.
It was Pound who yesterday accused cycling union boss Hein Verbruggen of supplying documents used by a French newspaper to charge that Armstrong used the drug EPO during his first tour win.
Armstrong said he was concerned Pound might be seeking revenge for an open letter he sent to newspapers and the WADA chief several years ago, defending his sport against the notion that cycling was rife with performance-enhancing drugs.
Pound said he received a letter from Verbruggen acknowledging the cycling union, known as UCI, had provided L'Equipe's reporter with forms indicating Armstrong had doped during his first Tour victory.
But Armstrong said that he himself had authorized releasing the forms to L'Equipe. He said the request from the newspaper was to check whether the UCI had granted him any medical exemptions during competition, not to find out if the numerical code used by race official to identify Armstrong matched the one attached to the urine samples.
* GOLF: Shaun Micheel was in the midst of cutting eight shots off par during a remarkable nine-hole stretch at the 84 Lumber Classic in Farmington, Pa., when playing partner David Toms dropped to his knee, complaining of a rapid heartbeat, and was rushed off the course in an ambulance.
Toms, 38, was listed in good condition at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh last night, administrator on duty Dolores Stairs told the Associated Press. Earlier in the evening, the hospital gave Toms's condition as critical. .
Micheel bogeyed the final three holes on the 7,516-yard Mystic Rock course to settle for a 7-under 65 and a four-way tie with Mark O'Meara, Charlie Wi and Jason Gore. . . .
Colin Montgomerie was eliminated in the first round of the World Match Play Championship in Virginia Water, England, by Australia's Mark Hensby, who will next face top-seeded Retief Goosen.
* COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Tye Gunn threw a four-yard scoring pass to Michael DePriest in overtime as TCU beat host Utah, 23-20, snapping the Utes' 18-game winning streak.
Freshman Aaron Brown rushed for 163 yards on 17 carries in his debut for TCU (2-1).
* LOCALLY: Basketball Hall of Famer and retired DeMatha coach Morgan Wootten, along with Joe Gallagher and O'Connell Coach Joe Wootten, will host the 40th annual D.C. Basketball Clinic Oct. 7-8 at O'Connell. The clinic is open to coaches of all age groups and teams and features Connecticut women's coach Geno Auriemma, Virginia Tech's Seth Greenberg, George Washington's Karl Hobbs and Villanova's Jay Wright. For additional information, call 703-279-1554.
-- From News Services
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