By Candice Marshall – 14 June – ABC Gold Coast

Gold Coast based Olympic and World Champion cyclist, Sara Carrigan, comments on the doping charges brought against her sport’s hero, Lance Armstrong

Shocking news emerged this morning that the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has brought formal doping charges against cycling champion Lance Armstrong.

This could strip the world-famous sporting hero of his seven Tour de France titles.   Locally, Olympic and World Champion Gold Coast-based cyclist Sara Carrigan, says she was in disbelief when she heard the news.

“When I heard this morning, I couldn’t believe it, it’s a really sad day for two reasons.”   Sara says the first reason is because she views drug cheats as “burglars”.

“For anyone who’s ever been robbed there’s such a feeling of violation and what has been taken rightfully from you – that’s the same feeling from athletes that are clean.”

She says the second reason it is a sad day is because all of the people who supported Lance, and were inspired by him “have also been robbed.”

“It just totally destroys our hearts, you get such inspiration, even for myself when I was younger, and throughout my whole sporting career, I would have different people that I looked up to in different sports and you get great motivation and inspiration from these other fantastic athletes who have gone through a similar journey of heartache, hard work, passion, determination, persistence – it’s all the same.

“So then when that’s been helped in a cheating way – it breaks my heart.”

Thinking about Lance himself, Sara says if he is found guilty, her first thoughts are about how he justified it to himself over the years.

“If this is the case and he has doped, in his mind… and in any other drug cheat’s, there is obviously some kind of justification that’s gone on in their minds to say ‘well it’s ok to do this’.

“He’s had the great rock star lifestyle, had a great profile… yeah he’s been able to inspire so many people with what he’s been through but in doing that through false pretences, through lies, that’s certainly not in my moral compass to be able to do something like that.”

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