Lance Armstrong confident of being 'vindicated'

Supports US anti-doping agency investigation into Sports Illustrated claims

Lance Armstrong said Friday he is confident of being vindicated following the most recent report to focus the doping spotlight on the Tour de France icon.

Armstrong is the subject of a federal investigation in the United States after allegations of doping levelled by disgraced former teammate Floyd Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title for using illegal substances.

A report by Sports Illustrated magazine, published this week, offered new evidence that claims to substantiate Landis's accusations.

The magazine levelled several allegations at Armstrong, including that he once used a hard-to-detect blood boosting drug, HemAssist, to illegally improve his performances in the late 1990s.

But the 39-year-old brushed off the news at the Tour Down Under this week, saying on the Twitter micro-blogging site that he was confident of being cleared by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USDA).

"Great to hear that @usada is investigating some of @si's (Sports Illustrated's) claims. I look forward to being vindicated," he tweeted.

Cancer survivor Armstrong has courted controversy throughout his sensational career, but the seven-time Tour de France champion has never tested positive.

The Tour Down Under will be his road racing swansong and finishes on Sunday.

© AFP 2011

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