After changes in sport, Cyclist looking forward to turning pro
MILTON, GA (CBS46) -
A.J. Smith anxiously watched Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah on Thursday.
"It's incredibly shocking to hear him actually say the words and admit it," said Smith.
After years of denial, Armstrong admitted to Oprah he did blood doping and used performance-enhancing drugs.
"For me, him coming out and admitting it is like Christmas because for so long people in my position never believed this information would come out," said Smith.
Smith, a former professional cyclist, is now getting the wheels moving toward a new pro career - a big reason is the cycling world no longer tolerating doping.
"That's the way it was looked at in cycling, what can we do to get these guys faster and better," said Smith.
Smith made it to the national stage at 15 years old. At 18, he earned a spot on the Olympic team and went to Australia to train for the Olympics.
"I went over there not only to train for the Olympics but to learn how to take the drugs and pass the test," said Smith.
After three months, Smith said he quit cycling because he was not going to go down that road.
"I didn't pedal a bike for six years out of spite," said Smith.
In 2006 Smith started a comeback when he won the Race2Replace on the Discovery Channel. It was a competition to see who might be the next Lance Armstrong. But Smith once again stopped racing because he says too many people were still looking the other way when it comes to doping. Now that's all changing.
"Motivation is tied directly to what you think is possible, and you're only motivated by what you think you can do," said Smith.
At 31 years old, Smith plans to become a professional cyclist again.
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