Lance Armstrong claimed on Friday that French anti-doping authorities are plotting to prevent him from racing in the Tour de France.
The seven-time champion, who has undergone 24 drug tests since his comeback to professional racing in September last year, has become increasingly annoyed with the French anti-doping body (AFLD).
His irritation stems from the aftermath of an out-of-competition test which took place in March. The AFLD said that they had compiled a report on his behaviour during the test.
But on Friday, Armstrong, 37, hit back.
“We have a long history. I know that my comeback wasn’t welcomed by a lot of people in France,” he said in a video message. “It’s unfortunate. I expect this will escalate and that we will see more antics out of the AFLD in the near future.
“There’s a very high likelihood that they (the AFLD) prohibit me from riding in the Tour.”
The AFLD’s dispute with Armstrong relates to the test when the Astana rider took a shower at his French home for 20 minutes while the identity of a doping official, who had come calling, was verified with cycling’s governing body, the UCI.
Armstrong claims he was given permission to shower by the official who turned up after a training ride in the French riviera town of Beaulieu-sur-Mer on March 17.
Tests on his hair, blood and urine were negative.
“We asked the official to wait outside while we checked to see if he was legitimate,” said Armstrong who was surprised that a tester had arrived alone. “The control was fine, there was nothing abnormal….but a few weeks later we have this issue that they want to start disciplinary proceedings.”
© BikeRadar & AFP 2009