Armstrong blasts new drug allegations

Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has angrily dissociated himself from a report in the New York Times in which two former teammates admitted to taking performance enhancing drugs.

    Drug free? Lance Armstrong continues to battle accusations

    "Today's article in the New York Times was a blatant attempt to associate me and implicate me with a former teammate's admission that he took banned substances during his career," Armstrong said.

    "The recycled suggestion that former teammates took EPO with my knowledge or at my request is categorically false and distorted sensationalism."

    The report stated that Frankie Andreu, a retired captain of the US Postal Service team, and another rider who wanted to remain anonymous admitted taking the endurance enhancing drug EPO while preparing for the 1999 Tour de France, Armstrong's first of seven consecutive victories.

    Both cyclists stated that they never saw Armstrong take any banned substance.

    But Betsy Andreu, the wife of Frankie, told the Times she blamed Armstrong for pressuring teammates to use drugs, saying her husband "didn't use  EPO for himself, because as a domestique, he was never going to win that race. It was for Lance."

    The 34 year old Armstrong responded to these claims by way of a prepared statement.

    "My cycling victories are untainted," the statement read on Tuesday.

    "I didn’t take performance enhancing drugs, I didn't ask anyone else to take them and I didn't condone or encourage anyone else to take them.
      
    "I won clean."

    The Texas born cyclist also stated the new claims contradicted those previously made in court during an arbitration proceeding which Armstrong won.

    "The allegations re-run today are not new and I defeated them in court," Armstrong said. "The implication that drug use was common knowledge on the Postal team is untrue.

    "In a recent arbitration in Dallas, I proved I never used, asked or encouraged anyone to take drugs."

    Armstrong, who rose to fame after surviving cancer before winning his record breaking titles, has fought numerous doping allegations throughout his career.
      
    "With success comes skeptics, detractors, and attacks of guilt by association, particularly in today’s climate," he said.

    SOURCE: AFP


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