Angry riders slam cheats

AUSTRALIAN rider Chloe Hosking has praised British star Nicole Cooke for condemning dopers such as Lance Armstrong and Tyler Hamilton in her retirement speech on Monday.

In her last comments as an elite cyclist, Cooke, 29, the 2008 Olympic road champion, spoke about doping and, specifically, Armstrong and his former US Postal Services teammate. ''I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean,'' she said.

''If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great.''

After confessing to doping, Hamilton wrote a best-seller with Daniel Coyle titled The Secret Race, that detailed doping on Armstrong's US Postal Services and other teams.

It is not known if Armstrong plans to write his version of his doping case and the events that led to him to confess to drug use in an interview with Oprah Winfrey on Tuesday (AEDT time), which is due to air on Friday.

It was reported that Armstrong confessed to using performance-enhancing drugs in the 2½-hour interview, recorded in his home town of Austin, Texas.

Armstrong was not spared Cooke's wrath. ''Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than I will make in all my years of honest labour,'' Cooke said. ''Please don't reward people like Hamilton with money … there are many places infinitely more deserving than the filthy hands of Hamilton.

''All these 'born again' champions of a clean sport. They could be more accurately described as criminals who stole other's livelihoods [and] who are only ever genuinely sorry about one thing - they are very sorry they were caught.''

''When Lance 'cries' on Oprah later this week and she passes him the tissue, spare a thought for all those genuine people who walked away with no rewards - just shattered dreams.''

Hosking, 22, and a member of the Hitec Products team, says that she has no view of Armstrong in particular because she is ''far removed'' from his era. Asked if she will watch his interview with Winfrey, Hosking said: ''I won't watch it. I am just not interested. It's a saga and not good for the sport.

''There is going to be huge repercussions. People say it needs to be talked about. Maybe it does. But how long has it been going on for? I don't know what I can offer to the discussion. It was before my time. I am from a new generation of cycling now. We are the future of cycling.''

But Hosking agrees with Cooke that riders who confess to doping don't deserve to profit from it. ''What she said about Tyler Hamilton really resonated with me,'' she said. ''He's going to make a lot of money off his book. I have always said to people, 'they give him a pat on the back for coming out and telling it how it is'. But he still cheated!''

On Tuesday, Armstrong was left gauging fall-out from the developments in his case on a day that began with him addressing staff at the Livestrong Foundation he had helped to create after his comeback from testicular cancer, and apologising for ''letting them down''.

The story Angry riders slam cheats first appeared on WA Today.

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