India's star cricketer Yuvraj Singh, who was honoured with the Arjuna Award, said Lance Armstrong continues to be his hero despite the cyclist having been stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned by the US Anti-Doping Agency last week.
Yuvraj during his battle with cancer looked up to Armstrong, also a cancer survivor, while undergoing treatment in the US. The legendary cyclist also visited Yuvraj in Boston where the cricketer was undergoing treatment.
"Lance continues to be my hero. As a cancer survivor, I know it is difficult to come back and perform. I don't know how they banned him but he will always be an inspiration to me," said Yuvraj at Rashtrapati Bhavan after receiving the Arjuna Award from President Pranab Mukherjee.
Yurjaj said it was an honour to finally get the award and the recognition would motivate him for a strong comeback, starting with the two T20 Internationals against New Zealand early next month.
"It is a great honour to get the award from the President of India. I finally got it after being nominated for it in the past. I am working hard for a successful comeback and this will motivate further to give my best," said Yuvraj.
Yuvraj was included in the World T20 side earlier in the month, triggering speculations about his fitness.
Asked about former cricketers, including Sourav Ganguly, raising fears about his fitness, Yuvraj said,"The experts can say whatever they want to. They are not watching me train. I have been working hard for the last three months and the only thing I need is match practice. I am eagerly looking forward to the matches against New Zealand."