“No, no, I’m absolutely not afraid,” Armstrong told AFP after he was joined by hundreds of fans for a seven-and-a-half-kilometer (4.7-mile) training run up Mount Royal, the peak that rises in the midst of the Island of Montreal.
The US cycling icon and cancer survivor had invited Montrealers to join him for the run via Twitter, and the large turnout demonstrated his continuing appeal despite USADA’s announcement that it was banning him for life and stripping him of his seven Tour de France titles. “My name is Lance Armstrong, I’m a cancer survivor... and yes, I won the Tour de France seven times,” Armstrong said Wednesday, drawing applause and smiles from delegates at the World Cancer Congress.
“And for those who don’t know what I’m talking about, I love you,” he added cheerily.
USADA said on Friday that Armstrong would be banned for life and his results since 1998 — including seven Tour titles won from 1999-2005 — would be expunged due to “numerous” anti-doping violations.