Lance says other sports also have 'black eye'

RENO, Nev. - Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong said cycling has suffered a "black eye" from doping scandals and he's not sure how it will affect interest in this year's race.

"Doping is a global problem. It's a sports problem, and it's never a good thing, either through positive tests or admissions," Armstrong said during a teleconference.

"It is a black eye, but I suspect that there are a lot of sports out there with black eyes, and it's just something that we as a community or global community, sports community, have to work through," he said.

Armstrong, who has repeatedly denied allegations he used banned substances, acknowledged television ratings were down last year for the Tour de France but didn't know if it was related to the scandal.

"You saw a drop-off in interest for some reason, really around the world. So even television numbers in France, Germany, Spain and Italy and then here in the U.S. (were down) for whatever reason," he said.

Armstrong made his comments late Monday during the teleconference promoting his cancer-fighting foundation, which will be the sole beneficiary of charitable contributions at the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at Lake Tahoe July 13-15. He will play in the pro-am tourney on July 12.