Joey Barton: 'Nike's backing of Lance Armstrong is ill judged'

Lance Armstrong
© PA Photos
Marseille midfielder Joey Barton believes that Nike were 'ill judged' to publicly show their support to Lance Armstrong following the publication of doping evidence against the cyclist.

Marseille midfielder Joey Barton believes that global sports brand Nike have made a mistake by publicly backing disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency accused the 41-year-old of running "the most sophisticated, professionalised and successful doping programme the sport has ever seen" during his career.

Despite Armstrong's innocent stance, 11 of his former US Postal Service teammates testified against the cyclist, who was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles after refusing to fight the doping charges against him.

While Nike announced their intentions to stand by the American, Barton, who is on loan to Marseille from Queens Park Rangers, believes that there is too much evidence against him.

Barton tweeted: "I am really surprised by Nike decision to stand by him. Through it makes a change for a major brand, it does seem a little ill judged. Considering the mountain of evidence presented against him by the stirling work of the Usada."

Armstrong was also handed a lifetime ban earlier this year.

Joey Barton
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