Mark Cavendish says he's frustrated that the Lance Armstrong doping case has re-opened the door for sceptics of Cycling.
The British rider says it must be remembered that the sport and doping controls have come a long way since the period investigated by the United States Anti-Doping Agency in their Armstrong dossier.
Cavendish said: "Everyone knows what Cycling was like in the past and now Cycling's getting tarnished again because of the past. The same question I always get is how can Cycling move forward? Well it is moving forward, it has been but people won't let it do. There's going to be cynics and there's going to be stuff that comes up from the past and that's not fair to tarnish the riders who are doing it now.
"There's so many people who don't know the sport. The amount of people who say "cyclists" and pretend to inject something in their arm - its a stupid closed minded view on it.
"Cheating happens everywhere, in every sport, in every country, in every aspect of life...... in entertainment, there's gonna be journalists who cheat to get a better story and if you put the time, the effort and the money into catching the cheats you will do it.
"Cycling does that, and cycling brings up stuff from the past to do it, and so its not fair to say its a dirty sport. They (doping control groups) don't care about the image of the franchise it shows that their fighting it, they want things to change and they want it to be better in the future."
Cavendish's comments followed an announcement by director of the Tour de France Christian Prudhomme that he would prefer the race to be declared as having "no official winner" if Armstrong is stripped of his victories from 1999 to 2005.
Cycling's world governing body, the UCI, has until 31st October to decide if it will uphold the decision of the USADA to take away those titles and issue Armstrong with a lifetime ban.
- Sports & Recreation
- Addiction & Substance Abuse
- Mark Cavendish