Armstrong raises the stakes in battle with AFLD

Lance Armstrong Astana press conference Tenerife Dec 08

Lance Armstrong has raised the stakes in his battle with the AFLD to a whole new level by claiming that there is a very high likelihood that the French Anti-Doping Agency will try to stop him riding this year?s Tour de France, meaning he will not be able to promote his crusade against cancer.

The AFLD accused Armstrong of misconduct for allegedly failing to remain under their constant supervision during an out of competition drugs test.

Speaking in a video message recorded in Colorado where Armstrong is recovering from his broken collarbone and training for the Giro d?Italia, the seven-time Tour winner made it clear he feels that the AFLD want to stop him trying to win a eighth Tour de France.

Armstrong has dubbed the spat with the AFLD about respecting anti-doping rules as ?showergate? and has tried to ridicule the French with sarcastic twitter messages. The AFLD has yet to decide if it will investigate Armstrong for breaking anti-doping rules but true to character, Armstrong has decided to go on the attack.

?We have a long history. I know that my comeback wasn't welcomed by a lot of people in France," Armstrong said in the video message, fuelling his perceived hate campaign from the French.

"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 prohibit me from riding in the Tour."

?It?s too bad. The Tour is something I love dearly, something I wanted to ride, to race in, to be competitive in, either go for a victory or help Albert (Contador) or Levi (Leipheimer) get a victory.?

?We shall see. The comeback has been important to me for two main reasons. Obviously I have a passion for cycling still, but more importantly I have a passion for the global fight against cancer. I wanted to tell that story in France but if we can?t do that we can?t do that it?s their call, it?s their country, their event, their rules so we have to play by those.?

Fortunately for Armstrong, it seems he will be fit to ride the Giro d?Italia and the organisers recently changed the route to avoid entering France, where the Texan could eventually be stopped from racing.

Armstrong confirmed in the video message that he should recover in time to ride the Giro but was unsure if he will be an overall contender.


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Lance Armstrong press conference transcript

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Contador to stay with Astana and Armstrong

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Armstrong to ride the 2009 Giro d'Italia

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French offer Armstrong re-test of his 1999 Tour samples

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Wednesday Comment (September 24)

Contador says riding with Lance could be difficult

UCI president rubbishes Armstrong Tour buyout claims

Bruyneel talks up Armstrong's chances

The Wednesday Comment, Armstrong Edition (September 10)

Tour de France: Lance can race in 2009

Contador: Lance could win eighth Tour

Lance confirms 2009 comeback

Armstrong: No smoke without fire?

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