Quote: "HELL yes," Lance Armstrong said when asked if he wanted to return to elite sport.
"Hell no" is the reaction from the greats of the ironman triathlon community Armstrong wants to join.
Hawaii ironman world champion Pete Jacobs has told News Limited he does not want to see Armstrong back in the sport after he confessed to systematic doping."We are all done with the cheating and lies," he said.
And former triple world champion Craig Alexander wants the sport of ironman to rewrite the rules so that no athlete who has tested positive can ever compete again.
It is understood Armstrong's end game has always been to race in ironman, specifically the Hawaii triathlon world championship that has been dominated in recent years by Jacobs and fellow Australians Alexander and Chris McCormack.
"The advantages, because he could train so much harder, are still there," Jacobs said.
"That would be an unfair advantage. If the body is fitter, stronger, it is still effective. It (Armstrong's body) would have to retain some of that."
Armstrong has won two 70.3 (half ironman distance) triathlons and it is understood he sees the sport as the best way to make money given his sponsors have deserted him.
The Texan won in Hawaii, Florida and finished second to highly regarded Kiwi Bevan Docherty in Panama.
Armstrong's time in his Florida win, 3:45:38, is genuinely world class and his 3:50:55 in Hawaii broke champion McCormack's record by several minutes.
Lance Armstrong waits for the start of the Ironman Panama 70.3 triathlon in Panama City, Panama. Source:
Jacobs spoke out after the second part of Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which the American confirmed he wanted to return to elite competition.
"Hell yes, I'm a competitor," Armstrong said when asked if he wanted to compete in sport again. "It's what I've done my whole life. I love to train. I love to race.
"Not the Tour de France, but there are a lot of other things I could do."
Armstrong was planning to take part in last October's Hawaii ironman in Kona before the scandal broke. Jacobs said he would not welcome a return by Armstrong to ironman triathon if the disgraced rider should get his suspension lifted or reduced by turning whistleblower.
"No, not really, I think it would cause too much of a stir," said Jacobs, who won the 2012 Hawaii ironman just days after the full extent of Armstrong's doping was revealed by USADA.
"This is a a sport driven by age groupers. People would not be happy to see him back."
Alexander yesterday called for his sport, which abides by the World Anti-Doping Agency code, to take a tougher stance against drug cheats.
"We need to draw a line in the sand and say 'no'," he said. "This is a great time to take stock and put new rules in place for zero tolerance."
Lance Armstrong competes the run leg of a triathlon. Source:
Triathlon Australia chief executive Anne Gripper has derided Armstrong as far worse than a drug cheat.
Her opinions are particularly significant because she set up the anti-doping unit at cycling's world governing body in the wake of the 2006 Operation Puerto scandal.
"If he was just a drug cheat, I always believe you should do a sanction and have the right to come back to the sport," Gripper said.
"He's not a drug cheat - he's a bully, he's a manipulator, he's been incredibly unfair to a whole lot of people and he's a dead-set liar.
"(He's) not a single, one-off liar, he's a pathological liar.
"I don't want those people in our sport."
I think everyone should consult ST before they do anything.