L'Equipe denies Armstrong witch hunt - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

L'Equipe denies Armstrong witch hunt

31/08/2005 05:37:11 AM Comments (0)

The editor of French sports daily L'Equipe denied his paper accused Lance Armstrong of doping because he is American.

"If Lance Armstrong was a French rider and we were in possession of the same information we would have done the same thing," Claude Droussent told France's LCI television station.

L'Equipe reported last week Armstrong used the banned performance-enhancing drug EPO to help win the 1999 Tour de France - the first of his seven straight titles.

Armstrong responded by vehemently denying the accusations and claiming he is the victim of a "witch hunt."

On August 23, L'Equipe reported it had evidence that six of Armstrong's urine samples from the '99 Tour tested positive for EPO.

The substance was banned but there was no reliable test at the time. Scientists used 'B' samples last year while researching testing techniques, but the 'A' samples had been used up.

"Because of what we have revealed ... it casts discredit on the rest of his (Armstrong's) career," Droussent said.

The UCI, or the International Cycling Union, said it would investigate reports of positive drug tests at the '99 Tour and issue its findings within 10 days.

Armstrong has said he is considering whether to take the newspaper, France's national anti-doping laboratory, and Tour race director Jean-Marie Leblanc to court.

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