Nicole Cooke Retires, Blasts Dopers

Gold medalist says she's been robbed

Ryan O'Hanlon

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Former world champion and gold-medal cyclist Nicole Cooke of Great Britain is retiring after 11 years of professional cycling. And since this is cycling we’re talking about, for better or [mostly] worse, we’re also talking about Lance Armstrong. While announcing her retirement, the 29-year-old, a self-proclaimed clean rider, hit out at all the sport’s dopers, and then took direct shots at Tyler Hamilton and Armstrong.

On her career:

I am so very fortunate to have been able to have won clean. I have been robbed by drug cheats, but I am fortunate, I am here before you with more in my basket than the 12-year-old dreamed of. But for many genuine people out there who do ride clean, people with morals, many of these people have had to leave the sport with nothing after a lifetime of hard work.

On Hamilton:

Tyler Hamilton will make more money from his book describing how he cheated than I will make in all my years of honest labor.

On Armstrong:

When Lance cries on Oprah later this week and she passes him a tissue, spare a thought for all of those genuine people who walked away with no reward—just shattered dreams. Each one of them is worth 1,000 Lances. I do despair that the sport will ever clean itself up when rewards of stealing are greater than riding clean. If that remains the case, the temptation for those with no morals will always be too great.

Rogers also blamed the UCI for the decline in women’s cycling, saying the organization was too focused on defending itself against doping allegations. Fun times!

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