UCI?s Anti-Doping Director Anne Gripper has said cycling?s top body will have to investigate to see if Lance Armstrong?s comeback at the Tour Down Under on January 21st will fulfill all necessary conditions.

According to Gripper checks will have to be made on regulations to ensure that Armstrong has been in the UCI?s anti-doping pool of tested riders long enough to race.

Armstrong had been confirmed by the Tour Down Under organisers as part of the line-up for the season-opening race. However, this new scenario may put a brake on the American?s comeback.

The confusion appears to have arisen over which set of regulations – WADA?s, the UCI?s, the United States Anti-Doping Agency – govern a comeback, and how long according to each organisation a rider who has been retired needs to form part of the anti-doping pool before starting to race again.

?A decision will be made next week,? Gripper told reporters, ?This is an ongoing investigation.?

?The UCI will follow the rules, regardless of whom the rider is.? UCI President Pat McQuaid added.

The rider must be in the anti-doping system for six months, that?s the rule he must follow.?

Lance Armstrong?s agent, Bill Stapleton, apparently contacted the UCI over the summer about how Armstrong would form part of the biological passport program.

At the time, McQuaid was quoted as saying that he had directed Stapleton to make enquiries at the USADA.

Armstrong is now part of the anti-doping pool of riders who can be tested randomly. The only question is how quickly he can actually return to racing.

Were Armstrong not to race the TDU, it would have a negligible effect on his bid to be in good condition come the summer and the Tour de France. Armstrong presumably would opt to make the Tour of California his first race.

However, it would mean that at least one part of his plans to race in all the four corners of the globe as part of his anti-cancer campaign would have to be suspended.

ROAD WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS 2008

NEWS

GB gunning for medals in under-23 road race

Millar and Cummings disappointed with TT result

Thursday’s World Champs news

Millar and Cummings ready for Elite men’s time trial

World Champs men’s time trial course notes

Pooley and Laws talk before Worlds time trial

Pooley to use special time trial bars again

British under-23 TT riders finish out of the top 30

Daniel Martin selected for Irish under-23 worlds team

British team heads to Varese with genuine medal hopes

Cancellara to miss World Championships

Swift a close second in final race before Worlds

Rob Hayles on why he’s not riding the Worlds

GB Women’s Worlds team confirmed

British Worlds team starts to take shape

Geraint Thomas called up to Worlds team to replace Cavendish

Mark Cavendish pulls out of Worlds team

RACE REPORTS

Under-23 men’s road race: Colombian takes gold, Swift fourth

Men’s time trial: Grabsch grabs the win

Women’s time trial: America’s Amber Neben takes title

Under-23 time trial: report, results, photos

PHOTOS

Under-23 mena’s road race, by Graham Watson

Men’s time trial, by Luc Claessen

Women’s time trial, by Graham Watson

Under-23 men’s time trial

2007 World Champs: Men’s road race

2007 World Champs: Women’s road race

2008 WORLD CHAMPS GUIDE

Preview>>

TV coverage guide>>

Brits in the men’s world road race 1998-2007>>

Brits in the women’s world road race 1998-2007>>

Brits in the under-23 world road race 1998-2007>>

Britain’s road world championships medal winners>>