sport

Dekker son blasts Armstrong

The son of Rabobank team manager Erik Dekker has accused his former "hero" Lance Armstrong of "destroying the sport I love so much".

Two weeks ago the United States Anti-Doping Agency published a 1,000-page report which alleged Armstrong and his US Postal Service team had been guilty of "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme that sport has ever seen".

It included testimony from 11 of Armstrong's former team-mates, who were all handed six-month bans and prompted USADA to ban the American for life as well as strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.

The UCI, cycling's governing body, will reveal later on Monday whether it has ratified the USADA's decision.

Last week Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch all severed their ties with Armstrong while Rabobank announced they were withdrawing from cycling after 17 years as a team sponsor.

Dekker spent 10 years with Rabobank as a cyclist after joining in 1996 during which he won four stages of the Tour de France as well as winning the 2001 UCI Road World Cup and in the same year beat Armstrong into second to win the Amstel Gold Race.

The 1992 Olympic road race silver medallist was himself associated with a doping scandal in 1999 after he failed a blood test.

He was subsequently cleared but it meant he missed the World Road Race Championship in Verona.

Now his son Kelvin, a junior rider, has penned a heartfelt open letter to Armstrong on Twitter which read: "@ Kelvindekker @ lance armstrong Lance, by this way I want to thank you.

"Thank you that you used dope all these years because now everyone at school says to me: your father was not such a good cyclist because he had a lot of talent or because he worked so hard, but that he just used more dope than others.

"Because of you, everybody at my school doesn't ask me if I use dope but what kind of dope I use and how many times I use but I don't and I would never do. And I mean it , not like you, you did not mean it.

"Thank you Lance, thank you that you destroyed the sport that I love so much.

"Once you were my hero. When my father won the Amstel Gold Race and you came second, I was not happy, because you, Lance, you were my hero. But now I'm so glad you did not win that race.

"Lance Armstrong, once you were my hero, now you're an a******."

Dekker senior told sportwereld: "I didn't know he had written this.

"It's well written, it's very nice of him."

Of his own brush with doping, Dekker feels people's general mistrust for the sport means he would be viewed with the same suspicion.

"Because the honest answer, no, it would not be believed," he added.

"And a question where the answer in advance is not believed, I find unfair and worthless. Especially at this time."