Armstrong denies wrong doing during random test

LANCE ARMSTRONG could face sanctions from the French anti-doping agency after being accused of violating rules during a random test in March.

The American, a seven-time Tour de France winner, is accused of “not respecting the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation” of the tester.

The agency (AFLD) carried out tests on Armstrong’s hair, urine and blood but found no traces of drugs.

The row stems from an unscheduled visit from an AFLD tester to the 37-year-old’s residence during a training stint in France.

The American insisted on having the tester’s identity checked — he took a 20-minute shower in the interim period — before letting him carry out his duties. In a statement, Armstrong denied any wrongdoing.

He said: “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.

“We asked the tester for evidence of his authority. We looked at his papers but they were far from clear or impressive and we still had significant questions about who he was or for whom he worked.

“I was there with (manager) Johan Bruyneel and two others. We told the tester we wanted to check with the UCI to confirm who he was and to make sure he wasn’t just some French guy with a backpack and equipment to take my blood and urine.

“Johan had confirmed with the UCI that the tester had authority from the French government to take samples. I immediately provided blood, urine and hair samples – all the samples that he requested, as he requested.

“In addition, the form asked the tester to state if there were any irregularities or further observations from the testing process and to that he wrote ‘no’.

“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 behaviour by the French laboratory and French anti-doping organisations.

“I am sorry that they are disappointed that all the tests were negative but I do not use any prohibited drugs or substances.”

Armstrong recently returned to competitive cycling after a three and a half year lay-off but broke his collarbone during a race in Spain.


A scientific study has found that the teatime treat is just as effective as shop-bought energy gels.You might want to swap your energy gels for mashed potato on your next run

We catch up with Bushmills’ master distiller, who tells Sam Wylie-Harris more about this liquid gold.Irish whiskey masterclass: 11 things you need to know

Temples, beaches, and several nations with new names.From Bhutan to Costa Rica, Lonely Planet reveals its top countries to visit in 2020

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman who’s unsure how to manage her mother’s dying wishes.Ask a counsellor: ‘Is it appropriate to notify my mother’s friends of her death by email?’

More From The Irish Examiner