‘Warnings’ helped Armstrong evade inspectors

Lance Armstrong was “warned before all planned doping controls”, an adviser to the French anti-doping agency AFLD has said.

Michel Rieu, scientific adviser to AFLD, said this was only one of the methods the American used to escape detection of his doping.

“The inspectors encountered many difficulties in making unannounced checks. Armstrong was always informed in advance, so he still had 20 minutes to cover his tracks. He could thin his blood or replace his urine. He used the EPO only in small quantities, so it was no longer there to detect. We were powerless against this way of working,” Rieu told Le Monde.

He also claimed that Armstrong used a large network to help him with his doping, and his avoidance of positive doping controls. “Armstrong let himself be surrounded by many physiologists. Also in the logistics field, everything was possible. The rumour was that his private jet was flying blood in from the United States.”

Armstrong was on Friday given a lifetime ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency, with all his results since August 1998, disqualified, including his seven Tour de France victories. He had chosen not to challenge doping charges which the American agency had brought against him.

Meanwhile, Armstrong says he is not looking for sympathy after the USADA stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles.

Speaking in Aspen, Colorado, where he finished second in a 36-mile mountain bike race behind 16-year-old rider Keegan Swirbul, Armstrong, who has never failed a drugs test was in no mood for self-pity.

“Nobody needs to cry for me, I’m going to be great,” he told reporters.

“I have five great kids and a wonderful lady in my life. My foundation is unaffected by all the noise out there.”


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