Professional cyclist Kristian House says it was no secret performance-enhancing drugs were being used at the top levels of the sport during his 16-year cycling career.
As the sporting world awaits disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong’s expected admission to drug use which saw him stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005, House said it was well known in cycling circles that the sport was not a level playing field.
The 33-year-old’s career began in the 1990s when he was 17, during the era when many riders have since admitted to taking performance-enhancing drugs.
“I think it’s a shame what’s happened, but everyone kind of knew at the same time what was going on and you chose to either be a part of it or not,” said House, who is in Bendigo to compete in the Victorian Open road championships.
“That was when I was starting. When you start out you don’t know it’s happening, but you soon figure it out.”
House, the 2009 British road champion who grew up cycling in Armstrong’s home town of Austin, Texas, hopes the sport is cleaner now than it was.
“I hope so, I know as much now as I knew back then in the sense of what’s going on at that level,” the Rapha Condor JLT rider said.
“You hope it’s moving in the right direction and that’s all you can do, I think.”
While the sport has been tarnished in many people’s eyes, House said the drugs scandal had not changed life for him as a professional cyclist.
“It doesn’t really change a whole lot in my eyes, all you can ever do is worry about what you do and not what anybody else does,” he said.
“You can’t control what everybody else is going to do, so don’t waste your time worrying about it.”
Lance Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey will be shown from 1pm today on the Discovery Channel.