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Monday, 25 September, 2000, 17:30 GMT 18:30 UK
Boardman: Illness forcing me to quit
Chris Boardman
Boardman (r) senses this may be the end
Chris Boardman has revealed that a debilitating medical condition has disrupted his preparations over the past two years for the men's individual time trial in Sydney.

Boardman, who won gold for Britain at the Barcelona Games in 1992 and then bronze in Atlanta, was diagnosed for an illness similar to osteoporosis (a brittle bone disease) in 1998.

It was my decision to carry on two years ago, but if I continue I could have serious heart problems in later life," said Boardman.

"The treatment requires hormone replacement therapy. If I was a woman, I would be okay, but if you are a bloke, you need testosterone, and they don't want cyclists taking that.

Hurt

"If I was taking drugs, I'd probably be a lot healthier!"

After missing the Tour de France earlier in the year due to sinus problems and also most of the physical preparation for the Games.

"I am not desperately optimistic to be honest and it is really stinging," he added.

"I am here, at an Olympic Games and to not be confident you are up there with a shout going into it is hard.

"It would be a nice way to finish my career (with a medal) and I will give it my best shot. But I know what I am up against, as I was one of them not so long ago."

Boardman added that as much as it would hurt him to leave a sport which has provided so much success for him he knows it would be in his best interests to quit while he is still able to compete at the highest level.

Britain's David Millar, who won the opening Tour stage, and Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong will also compete in the Sydney time trial on Saturday.

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12 Sep 00 |  Cycling
Armstrong cleared for Sydney
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