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No French doping action against Armstrong

Video by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-04-25

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) decided not to launch a disciplinary procedure against the seven-time Tour de France champion. Armstrong had caused controversy by taking a shower during a random visit from a drugs testing official.

REUTERS - American Lance Armstrong has been cleared of any wrongdoing by the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) over a random test conducted last month, the AFLD said in a statement.

"The AFLD has decided to take into account the athlete's written explanations and, consequently, not to open a disciplinary action against him," the statement read.

Seven times Tour de France winner Armstrong also said he had been cleared, writing on his Twitter feed: "Just got the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower-gate incident. Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."

The AFLD had said earlier this month Armstrong could face disciplinary action because he "did not respect the obligation to stay under (the) direct and permanent observation" of a drugs tester who came to his southern France residence in March.

Armstrong said he went to shower while Astana team manager Johan Bruyneel was checking the tester's credentials with the International Cycling Union (UCI).

The Texan, who made a comeback to the sport in 1998 after treatment for testicular cancer, was asked to provide urine, blood and hair samples when returning from a training ride around Beaulieu-sur-Mer.

"The analysis of the urine and blood samples from Mr Lance Armstrong did not reveal any abnormality. His hair sample has not been tested," the AFLD said.

Armstrong broke his collarbone during the Tour of Castilla y Leon last month but expects to be fit for the Giro d'Italia, which starts on May 9.

He said earlier this month he feared the AFLD would bar him from competing in the Tour de France.

Armstrong has had a difficult relationship with Tour organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), who said last year the 37-year-old's return to the race would be "embarrassing".

In 2005, the French sports daily L'Equipe, owned by ASO's parent company EPA (Editions Philippe Amaury), claimed samples of Armstrong's urine from the 1999 race showed traces of the banned blood-boosting substance erythropoietin.

However, Armstrong, who has never tested positive, was cleared by a Dutch investigator appointed by the UCI.

AFLD president Pierre Bordry last year invited Armstrong to have his 1999 samples re-tested but the rider declined, arguing they could have been compromised.
 

Date created : 2009-04-24

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