Novak Djokovic may have been preparing to play during the airing of the interview in which Lance Armstrong admitted to Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs on the way to winning seven Tour de France titles, but that didn’t stop the world No. 1 from slamming the cyclist.
“It would be ridiculous for him to decline and refuse all the charges because it has been proven,” Djokovic said after his third-round victory against Radek Stepanek at the Australian Open on Friday. “They have like a thousand proofs that he’s positive. I think it’s a disgrace for the sport to have an athlete like this. He cheated the sport. He cheated many people around the world with his career, with his life story. I think they should take all his titles away because it’s not fair toward any sportsman, any athlete. It’s just not the way to be successful. So I think he should suffer for his lies all these years.”
Djokovic also was asked about tennis’ anti-doping measures, which you can read here. As for cycling, he criticized its grueling races, which Djokovic thought encouraged widespread doping.
“I lost a lot of faith in cycling,” he said. “I used to watch it. All the big champions that were there, Marco Pantani, now Lance Armstrong. Yeah, I don’t want to say all. I really don’t know. There has been so much controversy about that sport. I’m sure that there are many cyclists in the world who are training very hard and trying to not use any enhancing drugs for their competition.
“But I think it’s not acceptable that they have physically so much races in short period of the time. I think basically every single day, day and a half, they have to go through 200 miles. Uphill, downhill in Giro D’Italia, Tour de France, that’s inhuman effort. As you can see, Lance Armstrong, many other big champions, had to use something to succeed.”