The new UCI boss David Lappartient has said that Lance Armstrong was not welcome at the Tour of Flanders in April. He insists that the cyclist who is banned for life will not attend any official function associated with the Belgian monument.
“He is banned for life, and that means it is not possible to come on the Tour of Flanders. I reminded [the organizers] that the Tour of Flanders is sanctioned by the UCI. Armstrong still has a passport and he can travel. Of course, I cannot stop him from travelling to Belgium and to meet with people on an event on Friday night,” Lappartient said.
He added that he has reached out to Flanders Classics promoter Wouter Vanderhaute to restate the UCI’s position on the matter. The organizers have said Armstrong won’t be on the race except the auxiliary events set for the race weekend. The UCI is maintaining its tough stance on Armstrong as part of his lifetime ban handed down nearly six years back.
Lappartient said the move was backed by the determination to have a clean sport. He said Armstrong does not portray that image and that he does not really trust him.
Back in December, Vanderhaute had said it was time to welcome back Armstrong to the cycling family again. Other cheats like Alexander Vinokourov and Bjarne Riis that have confessed are still active in the sport so many would wonder why Armstrong is being singled out. Well the discretionary rule of 2011 means cyclist involved in major doping cases cannot work in any major capacity related to the sport but those involved before 2011 cannot be stopped officially.