Sources close to disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong have revealed that the defrocked champion is considering becoming a competitor in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF). Armstrong’s lifetime suspension from all sports that are signatories to World Anti- Doping Association code has left the Texan unable to enter virtually any sanctioned athletic competition, including mass-participation events such as marathons.
WWF, however, does not follow the WADA code, which would enable Armstrong to take part in their events.
“Lance has some bottled-up energy for sure”, the source told us, on condition of anonymity. “He’s been golfing, but that’s requires concentration and restraint. He’s looking for something more aggressive.”
Armstrong’s 5’-10”, 160 lb.-build may be perfect for endurance sports, but he’s significantly smaller than typical WWF wrestlers. “He knows the right people who can help him bulk-up,” our source told us. “But they’ll only be giving him training advice, and doing some testing. It will be limited to that.”
Apparently, some practice sessions have already been performed at a private Austin, Texas gym to gauge the feasibility of the project. Because WWF competitors create personalities and characters to compete, Armstrong has experimented with a persona called Mellow Johnny. The prototype outfit is a WWF-style onesy in a maillot jaune hue, with Armstrong donning a lion’s head mask, after the famous Credit Lyonnais trophy.
To simulate the adrenaline and atmosphere needed for a WWF match, trainers have stood in as simulated competitors, wearing clothes and masks to look like Travis Tygart, Betsy Andreu, and Jonathan Vaughters.
“After the first rehearsal, he was pumped. The next day, he insisted on new costumes for the trainers so he could go at it with David Walsh, Floyd Landis … and of course Greg LeMond.”
Our source told us that Armstrong was initially unaware that WWF matches are staged, theatrical-type events, and not actual competition. But upon hearing this news, his interest remained. “I’m used to theatrics in competition. I’ve been working on a new version of ‘the look’ I gave Ullrich. That will be great when I come into the ring,” Armstrong is said to have quipped.
After being shunned by sponsors and the cycling community following his admission of doping his way to seven Tour de France wins, Armstrong apparently feels upbeat, telling our source: “With WWF, I’m thinking I really might have found my people.”
Image: John Pierce, Photosport International