Butterfield will go up against controversial cyclist Armstrong, above, in California. *Photo by AFP
Butterfield will go up against controversial cyclist Armstrong, above, in California. *Photo by AFP

FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 28: Tyler Butterfield said he doesn’t “condone cheating in sport” but whether Lance Armstrong is guilty or not is still up for debate.

Butterfield is scheduled to compete against the disputed seven-time Tour de France winner this Sunday at the Superfrog Triathlon in San Diego, California.

Armstrong was stripped of his titles by the US Anti-Doping Agency and given a lifetime ban for doping offences, but the UCI, the world governing body for cycling, dispute the USADA’s authority in doing so.

Butterfield said: “He’s done a lot of good things for the world and inspired a lot of people and gave them hope. He also irritates one or two people.

“He never was found guilty so that’s up for debate and everyone to form their own opinion, but by no means do I condone cheating in sport.

“But at the same time I’m going to be polite and nice to him as he’s done a lot outside of sport.

“You can argue either way whether that was fraud or not. I know if I won a few big races there is still a lot of commitment and time to other causes, and that’s not easy.”

Even though Butterfield cycled in Europe for several years, including one as a pro, he never met Armstrong.

He said racing against Armstrong will be “fun. I’m doing it for training and he’s not taking it 100 per cent serious and neither am I.”

Butterfield said he was unsure of whether the two will be in the same wave of athletes but he figures the pair will be even on the swim, and he’ll try to hold his own on the run, but Armstrong has the clear advantage on the bike.

“It will be fun to see the time splits.”

Butterfield helped tune up for this weekend’s races — he’s also competing in a sprint triathlon on Saturday — by competing in the 5150 in Galveston, Texas and pulled off a surprise podium finish.

“I’m pretty happy. I haven’t done the work not to be happy with second place.”

Butrrefield said after the London Olympics He took a week off then spend three weeks in Bermuda where he mainly spent time with family, visiting friends and thanking his sponsors for their support.

“I had lost a bit of fitness and put on a bit a weight, but I was as  fit as I was going to be for London.”

He did two-and-a-half weeks of hard training before tapering off for the race.

Butterfield is using these series of races to build up for the Arizona Ironman in November.