Multiple Ironman world champion Dave Scott has said banned cyclist Lance Armstrong should be allowed to race in the Ironman World Championship, saying that it would bring more attention and money into the sport of triathlon.
“I have mixed feelings about the whole Lance episode,” he said during a Google Hangout for 220 Triathlon yesterday. “Yeah he was guilty, he said he was guilty and I think he’s been crucified about a thousand times over for it and there have been a lot of other drug addicts in the cycling world that have had minute bans. I get it, Lance has been the king and he was very defiant so they obviously came back on him very hard. He obviously has a passion to race, and he was racing well in triathlon after picking it up pretty quickly.
“I think ultimately it would have been a great thing for the sport to have his notoriety, he would have brought in attention that our sport hasn’t garnered, it would have brought in corporations that might have been willing to say, ‘Hey this sport, we need to boost it just a little bit’.
“If you look at prize money in this sport it still pales in comparison to the other ones, and the athletes work darn hard. So I think having Lance in there, people are always going to say, ‘Was he racing clean when he was doing triathlons’. I don’t know, that has not come up, but I’m sure he would be tested and retested if he had that opportunity to race, so I think let him race.”
One more bite at Kona?
Asked by a reader on our live Q&A whether he might return to race Kona one last time himself, Dave Scott said: “I don’t know, that would be a big bite to do that again, I would like to do a couple of decent halfs and not embarrass myself, so I’m thinking about doing some halfs this summer and fall. If they give me a bucket of money I would go back there.”
Scott won in Kona six times in the early 1980s (matched only by his great rival Mark Allen), and managed to place second when he came out of retirement in 1994 at the age of 40.
(Main image: Anita Ritenour)
Dave Scott will be speaking at the Triathlon Show, taking place in Sandown Park, Surrey from 28 February to 2 March. For more information head to www.triathlonshow.co.uk