Armstrong outraged by French misbehaviour claims
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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Armstrong outraged by French misbehaviour claims

by Agence France-Presse at 5:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
American cycling legend Lance Armstrong has expressed his outrage at claims from France that he had not behaved himself during an out of competition drug test earlier this season.

The French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) had announced on Monday that they had compiled a report on the seven-time Tour de France champion's reaction to undergoing the test.

AFLD president Pierre Bordry revealed that he had sent the report to the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on March 30. He did not reveal the report's contents.

However, Armstrong said in a statement he had just returned from a long day's training and did not know who the man was and whether he was authorised to carry out what was his 24th unannounced dope test since he returned to the sport last autumn.

"Outrageous reports yesterday coming out of France allege that I 'misbehaved' during a recent unannounced drug test performed by the French government while I was training in southern France in early March," said Armstrong.

"This 24th test, which included a blood test, a urine test, and a test of a substantial quantity of my hair, was also negative. I returned home that day after a long training ride to find a man chasing me as I rode up to the house. He stopped me and told me he was from the French laboratory and was here to test me. I had never heard of labs or governments doing drug testing and I had no idea who this guy was or whether he was telling the truth."

Armstrong said that the main bone of contention with the AFLD was that he went to take a shower for 20 minutes while team manager Johan Bruyneel checked the man's credentials with the relevant authorities before allowing him to be tested.

"I have learned that after the tests were all negative, the laboratory has now suggested that the 20 minute delay should be investigated. "I find it amazing that I've been tested 24 times without incident and the first test I do in France results in more outrageous allegations and negative leaks to the press. This is just another example of the improper behavior by the French laboratory and the French anti-doping organizations. I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative, but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances."

According to the AFLD, the sample-taker warned Armstrong that he would compile a report about his attitude and onpass it to the sport's governing body the International Cycling Union (UCI).

"The UCI does not have jurisdiction to judge this case," said UCI press officer Enrico Carpani, referring to articles nine and 13 of the organisation's anti-doping legislation.

"As it concerns a test carried out by a national agency that happened outside of competition, it's the agency which has the authority."

The AFLD will await a response from the UCI before deciding whether or not Armstrong's behaviour constitutes an infringement of the world anti-doping code.

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