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IT did not take long for Lance Armstrong's apologists to mount a case for why he remains a "legend" despite the doping allegations lev lled at him.

British rider Alex Dowsett will not be the only person in cycling who believes Armstrong retains credibility for winning multiple Tour de France titles after beating an aggressive form of cancer - whether he was chemically enhanced or not.

There will be those who argue his charitable deeds should be taken into account in any character assassination which follows the United States Anti-Doping Agency's publication of exhaustive evidence against the American.

Perhaps they have the sliver of a point here for, despite Armstrong's sullied reputation, he remains a remarkable man in so many ways.

His alleged misdemeanours are of a sporting nature, but his positive impact away from the bike has been felt by thousands of cancer patients all over the world. It makes a tangible difference. The problem here is Armstrong continues to deny the accusations despite almost overwhelming evidence.

The USADA claims there is "conclusive and undeniable" proof against him and, almost to a man, his former team-mates are now testifying he was involved in a complex doping operation.

Even Armstrong himself has given up the "tiring" fight to clear his name - although he continues to insist he has done nothing wrong. While that is the case, it remains incredible anyone could seek to absolve him of blame.

It is like a festering sore on the sport, and no one can move on until he directly addresses this evidence.

Only by being completely honest can Armstrong aid the fight against cheating in sport and take the first steps towards rehabilitating his reputation. Until then he is no "legend."

Armstrong has given up the 'tiring' fight to clear his name - but insists he has done nothing wrong


CASE FOR THE DEFENCE Despite Lance Armstrong's sullied reputation he remains a remarkable man in so many ways - and his positive impact away from cycling has been felt by thousands of cancer patients around the world. However, he needs to face up to the evidence against him
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 12, 2012
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