Former Lance Armstrong teammate from Vt. on doping scandal - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Former Lance Armstrong teammate from Vt. on doping scandal

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Andy Bishop loves the thrill of racing. He competed for decades, winning 120 cycling races.

"I was asked to turn pro in 1988," he said.

Bishop was one of America's top cyclists, racing in the Tour de France three times. And from 1991 to 1993, he was on the same team as Lance Armstrong; the two were roommates.

Reporter Gina Bullard: What did you think of him?

Andy Bishop: He was a brash, young punk.

Bishop was a senior member of the team when Armstrong first came on. Armstrong quickly established himself as a great rider, but off the bike, not a great person.

"We did not get along," Bishop said. "We butted heads and I've never liked his personality with how he treated people. And it's not just a personal thing; I saw it with all my teammates."

Bishop says cycling started changing; performance-enhancing drugs became rampant. He decided to walk away from the sport. He says staying clean he couldn't compete with the users.

"For me, opting not to cheat stopped me in that sport from advancing to where I wanted to go," Bishop said.

Bishop retired while Armstrong's career took off. Armstrong won seven Tour de France titles-- an incredible feat. Throughout his career, teammates accused Armstrong of using performance-enhancing drugs, but each time Armstrong denied it and attacked anyone who questioned him.

Gina Bullard: Did you ever see Lance Armstrong use drugs?

Andy Bishop: No.

Gina Bullard: Did he ever talk about it?

Andy Bishop: No.

Gina Bullard: Was it a known thing?

Andy Bishop: Do I know from reliable sources that he took stuff? Yes.

And now everyone knows. Last year, Armstrong was stripped of his wins and banned from cycling for using and distributing performance-enhancing drugs.

"I'm extremely mad because of the perpetual lying and the destruction of the sport he's done," Bishop said.

Bishop says talking now is not about piling on Armstrong. He hopes this scandal sparks change in a sport he still loves. Bishop does not plan to watch Armstrong's big interview with Oprah and says he thinks it's just another part of Armstrong's web of lies.

"To me any sort of apology or contrition is more of a lie than his lies prior," Bishop said.

Bishop says that athletes using these performance-enhancing drugs should be treated for what they are-- criminals. He says if people like Armstrong got jail time it would set an example for the entire industry, reduce the number of people doping and return cycling to the sport it used to be.

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