• Lizzie Armitstead isn't in her element at the moment, dealing with innuendo and suspicion rather than bike races (Boels-Dolmans)Source: Boels-Dolmans
In an interview with BBC Sport before the womens road race on Sunday, an emotional Lizzie Armitstead stressed she would “never cheat in life”.
6 Aug 2016 - 12:39 PM 

Armistead had been on a provisional suspension from cycling after failing for the third time in a 12 month period to be available for anti-doping tests.

The world champion appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to get the first missed test overturned, which it was after the court determined that the testing official hadn’t tried to hard enough to locate Armitstead on the day.

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The public overturning of her ban has seen fellow athletes, media and fans all with their own take on the circumstances of the three missed tests and the subsequent overruling of the decision.

“People are going to judge me, they’re going to judge my family,” said Armitstead, “I would never cheat, not in any walk of life, I wouldn’t cheat.”

“People will think I’m a cheat for the rest of my life and that’s because of not ticking a box on a form, and I don’t mean to make it sound trivial, it’s not.”

“It’s a fight we all have to take responsibility for and as world champion I should take it higher than anyone else.

"But something happened to me and my family (referencing her third missed test) that I couldn’t control and that’s more important to me than cycling.”

The weight of suspicion has clearly had an impact on Armitstead’s preparation for her main goal of the season, her tilt at the womens road race gold medal. Whether she is able to perform at her best in Rio is very much up in the air at the moment and she was maudlin when asked if she could prove people wrong by going out and winning.  

"In this situation I'm never going to win. If I win, people will say it's because of something else,"

“I’m not at the point of accepting it yet but I’ll have to come a point of accepting that people will doubt me forever.”

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