February 24, 2004
Gaumont speaks on Cofidis firing, retirementEurosport.com | Gaumont comes clean
Eurosport has excerpts from an interview Philippe Gaumont gave French sports daily L’Equipe, where he admits drug use and backs off his earlier accusations that “90 percent of riders are guilty:”
I was perhaps too hasty. I think doping still exists -- and quite a bit of it. But the riders who came after 1998 [and the Festina-stained Tour de France] had the chance to be free of it. I sincerely think that there are clean riders. They just need to stay strong in their heads and not give in.
With the many drug charges in his career, I had begun to see Gaumont as the Hal Chase of cycling, but there’s a remorse in his comments uncharacteristic of Chase:
I understand that my sporting career has been a failure. When I think back to the first maximum-effort tests I did, I know that my natural abilities were capable of a better race resume than what I've been left with today.
All I can say is that I missed my chance. I arrived in this sport at the wrong place and at the wrong time.
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