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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Armstrong says French may ban him from the Tour - AP

By JIM VERTUNO
AP Sports Writer

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) -- Lance Armstrong believes French doping officials may ban him from riding in this summer's Tour de France over a report that he violated protocols during a recent drug test.

"There's a very high likelihood that they prohibit me from riding in the Tour," a somber Armstrong said Friday in a video statement posted on his Web site. "It's too bad. The tour is something I love dearly."

France's anti-doping agency, known as AFLD, has said the American did not fully cooperate with a drug tester when he showed up at Armstrong's home in France to collect blood, urine and hair samples from the cyclist on March 17.

Although no banned substances were found, the dispute revolves around a 20-minute delay when Armstrong went inside the house and took a shower while his assistants checked the tester's credentials.

The seven-time Tour winner said he asked the tester for permission to go inside and it was granted. The AFLD says Armstrong "did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of the tester.

According to Armstrong, the tester wrote "no" on the section of the official paperwork that asks if there was anything irregular about the test.more here...

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