It’s been a tough time for the World Champion Lizzie Armitstead as she looks to put behind her missed tests furore and concentrate on the task at hand which is winning Olympic Gold on Sunday in Rio.
At the beginning of the week, the news broke that Armitstead had been suspended after she had missed three anti-doping tests; but after a successful appeal to the Court of Arbitration (CAS) the first one was struck off as the UKAD anti-doping officer was found not to have done enough to find the athlete.
But the other two missed test were because of an admin error, and then final one was because of a family emergency in which the 27-year-old has not disclosed to the media. But after a week of speculation, the Boels-Dolman’s rider released a 1,275 word statement and now she has given her first interviews to the BBC and Sky Sports News regarding the matter.
Armitstead claims she would ‘never cheat in life’ as missed tests threaten to derail her Olympic dream
So far this season it has been a hugely successful one for the World Champion, she won the Tour of Flanders, as well as other WorldTour races.
but the big goal this year has been the Olympic Road race, and with everything that has happened this week, it will need a show of nerve from the British rider to take home the Gold.
Speaking about what has gone before, Armitstead said: "In this situation I'm never going to win. If I win, people will say it's because of something else."
If Armitstead does come away with the victory on Sunday, there is no doubting she will face some tough questions, people will naturally doubt her achievements, which is a shame.
The Otley rider has always been tough on the stance of doping in cycling, and as a standard bearer of women’s cycling she has never shirked away from that line of questioning.
"I'm not at the point of accepting it yet - but I will have to come to the point of accepting that people will doubt me forever," the 27-year-old said.
Armitstead said she is ‘devastated,’ but insisted that her family comes before anything else, but while it has been ‘emotional’ for Armitstead, she insisted she is glad to be in Rio for the Olympic Games and is looking forward to racing on Sunday.