MARK CAVENDISH HAS called on disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong to confess to doping for the good of the sport.
The International Cycling Union (UCI) stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles on Monday, ratifying the sanctions recommended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.
Armstrong, 41, has remained silent since it was ruled his US Postal team ran ‘the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen’.
Cavendish, winner of the Tour de France’s green jersey last year, said it was time for Armstrong to come clean.
“If you’ve done something, confess. That anyone can damage the sport I love right now, it’s frustrating,” he said.
“It is tough the younger generation of cyclists having to take the stick. The amount of times I get questioned about whether cycling should move on. Cycling has moved on, it’s just that people keep bringing up the past but it is not happening now. It’s not fair to tarnish cycling now with what happened in the past because it has moved on.
“We have to start again but we started again a few years ago. Now in 2012 we are having to start again for something which happened before the last time we started again. It’s just frustrating that I have to sit here again and again saying that.”
Cavendish swapped Team Sky for Omega Pharma-Quick Step last week after a disappointing Tour in 2012. He said he would never have moved to the British team had he known they would not target the green jersey.
“I wouldn’t have gone to Sky in the first place if they had said you’re not going to win the green next year,” Cavendish told BBC Sport. ”If I wanted to go just for green, I wouldn’t have gone to Sky anyway, but we had this idea of yellow and green and that it was two British riders on a British team backed by British sponsors.
“That was a big thing for me. I’m a patriotic lad.”