Lance Armstrong said he is outraged 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 behavior while 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 authorized 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.
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 also had never heard of a laboratory (as opposed to an anti-doping organization) sending testers to collect samples. 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 Johan Bruyneel and two other people. 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 some equipment to take my blood and urine. Johan stayed with him and in his presence called the UCI to find out what was going on. We asked if it was OK for me to run inside and shower while they made their calls and the tester said that was fine.”
“I did not try to evade or delay the testing process that day. I had just returned from an all day training session, wasn’t sure who this French man at my home was, and as soon as the UCI confirmed that he was authorized to conduct the tests, I let him take all the samples he requested.’
“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 pass it on 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 organization’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 behavior constitutes an infringement of the world anti-doping code.