Melbourne/Mumbai: Roger Federer says Lance Armstrong’s admission that he took performance-enhancing drugs during his cycling career has affected all of sport and the world’s athletes.
“What a sad story,” Federer said after his three-set win Saturday over Bernard Tomic at the Australian Open.
“Obviously he’s hurt his sport in a big way, even though he helped it in the beginning. But now the burden they live under, all other sports maybe as well.”
Federer, a 17-time Grand Slam winner, said he watched the first portion of the interview that Armstrong did with Oprah Winfrey. “I guess all I needed to see was the first few minutes and then I knew what was the deal, and the rest I don’t really care,” Federer said. “I’m an active athlete right now, and it’s not fun times really to be in sport to a degree.”
Serena Williams said Armstrong let all athletes down by doping and lying about it for so long, while No. 1-ranked Victoria Azarenka says the disgraced cyclist “deserves everything he gets.”
“I think a lot of people now look and are like, ‘OK, if somebody (is) that great, what about everyone else in every other sport?” Serena said.
“As an athlete, as someone that works really, really hard since I was 4 or 3, I think it’s a sad day for all athletes in general. Overall, it’s even more disappointing for the people that were adversely affected through everything. You can only just hope for the best for them.”
Azeranka said “everybody works so hard to be the best.” “You cannot be a hero in the end of the day,” Azeranka said. “You cannot lie. You cannot cheat. Everybody works so hard to be the best, and you have to respect that.”
Meanwhile, in Mumbai, legendary Haile Gebrselassie said Lance Armstrong was a lesson for every aspiring sportsperson.
“The world will talk about Lance Armstrong and learn something. You see people cannot hide from themselves. That is why it is a lesson for many youngsters and athletes,” Gebrselassie.
“At the end of the day, you know what happened when you cheat someone. People can hide their cheating from others but they can’t hide it from themselves,” added the Ethiopian legend. (agencies)