Sports

Infamous Drug Cheat Lance Armstrong Cycles New Zealand Streets; Prepares for Beer Advertisement

"We are using Lance to tell a cautionary tale called 'The Consequence' which depicts how much you stand to lose when you pursue success at all costs."
December 20, 2016, 5:47pm
Photo credit: Radio New Zealand/Youtube.

If a Hall of Fame was ever built for the most infamous dopers in sports history, Lance Armstrong would arguably be cycling's first inductee.

Once the darling of international cycling, the disgraced Texan was stripped of his seven Tour de Frances titles in 2013 after revelations of EPO doping.

While Armstrong has faced continuous criticism for his doping over the last three years, that didn't stop the 45-year-old Texan jetting down to New Zealand this week to, according to reports, shoot a promotion for big Kiwi beer company Lion Breweries.

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According to the New Zealand Herald, the Lion Breweries advertisement featuring Armstrong is titled 'The Consequence'.

"We are using Lance to tell a cautionary tale called 'The Consequence' which depicts how much you stand to lose when you pursue success at all costs," they wrote, in a statement.

"We want to highlight that actions have consequences and we couldn't think of anyone better to demonstrate that."

Yesterday, Armstrong held an early morning ride-along in Auckland. More than 200 joined him on the roads, with many Kiwis seemingly haven forgiven his doping history.

A Radio New Zealand report on Armstrong's Auckland ride-along yesterday morning. Source: Youtube.

"The whole sport was riddled with it and he was just king of the kids," cyclist Ian Margan told the Australian Associated Press. "He was still an amazing rider in his time, and he still is, presumably."

Italian-based cyclist Bruce Biddle told the Herald that Armstrong shouldn't be made a scapegoat for his doping, given the high usage of EPO during his era in the Tour de France.

"He represented a certain era of cycling," Biddle, who rode for New Zealand at the 1970 Commonwealth Games, says.

"But if everyone raced on pane e acqua, as we say, on bread and water, probably everyone would say that Armstrong was probably the strongest. Those years were the dark ages of world cycling when, this EPO, everyone was taking it. He wasn't the only one."

Armstrong's visit to New Zealand has been slammed by Dave Gerrard, the chairman of the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) therapeutic use exemption (TUE) committee.

"Lance Armstrong epitomises all that is bad about drug use in sport," Gerrard told Radio Sport. "He is clearly not the example and the role model that we want our kids to admire and emulate."