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Bode Miller speaks in Chamonix: media, Mexico doc, Armstrong


Bode Miller speaks in Chamonix: media, Mexico doc, Armstrong{mosimage}Ski racing fans around the globe can breath easy — after a golf hiatus in Dubai, Bode Miller is back on the World Cup tour, back on the podium and back to speaking his mind.

After finishing third in the super combined at Chamonix, France, on Friday, Miller addressed many of the questions he wasnÍt able to address at a sponsor-organized press conference on his first day back on tour. Among those banned topics were Miller’s controversial thoughts on doping and alcohol. While he steered clear of the latter in his Friday press conference, the former was a hot topic for Miller, especially after two recently circulated reports in the media.

In a story published last week, Miller was quoted in Rolling Stone magazine as saying that Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong took performance-enhancing drugs.

“Right now, if you want to cheat, you can: Barry Bonds and those guys are just knowingly cheating, but there’s all sorts of loopholes,” he told the magazine. “If you say it has to be ‘knowingly,’ you do what Lance [Armstrong] and all those guys do, where every morning their doctor gives them a box of pills and they don’t ask anything, they just take the pills.”

This week, ESPN.com published a story about at least four members of the U.S. Ski Team — including Miller — who have traveled to Mexico to visit Dr. Milne Ongley, an orthopedic specialist who’s been banned from practicing his controversial new tissue-developing treatment in the United States.

As fans and detractors alike might imagine, the media isn’t exactly among Miller’s favorite topics right now:

“You guys know me pretty well, and I plan things pretty well and I wasn’t surprised or shocked by any of the stuff that came out,” Miller said. “In a lot of ways it was unfortunate, and I made the apology. A lot of it was unfortunate for a lot of people. I’m not surprised by that stuff. I was well aware of it ahead of time. It’s always interesting, and sometimes depressing, to watch the way the press manipulates things to try to get readership and increase their ratings or whatever, but that’s old news. Give it 40 or 50 years when things will start to sort themselves out again.”

Concerning reports that he saw Dr. Ongley for treatment of a knee injury Miller said, “I’m not really aware of them, as you guys know I don’t really have a lot of interest in going through the flagrant exaggerations of the press these days. It doesn’t do much for me.

“I think you’re dealing with a lot of different opinions based on very little fact in a lot of that stuff. If people wanted to do research about the doctor I think they would come to their own conclusions. I think that’s what a lot of athletes have done, and I think it speaks for itself.”

Concerning the published quotation in Rolling Stone in which he suggested that Armstrong and Bonds had used performance-enhancing drugs, Miller said that he was taken out of context:

“I imagine [Armstrong] was angry. He was dealing with a lot of negative stuff in that area. It’s important to recognize that it’s a fairly liberal interpretation … knowing the whole interview the way that I know it. …In no way was I trying to incriminate him or accuse him in any way of cheating … the two statements were probably five minutes apart, as far as any word of cheating or doping or anything like that, and then the statement about him was simply about the stuff that he’s dealt with, and then the fact that the sport is involved he’s in the spotlight and has to deal with it by really not … there is just no way for him to effectively deal with it. …The interview was pretty warped and pretty compressed to make it sound that way. Obviously, if I were to speak with Lance, I would apologize to him personally. But to make anything public of it I think would actually probably make it sound like the article is more truth than it was, and the reality is that the way I was portrayed in that article was pretty far from the truth.”

- Nathaniel Vinton contributed to this report.

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