Tour de France director: Armstrong "fooled” the sports world
More charges against Lance Armstrong and claims that he used illegal substances to enhance his performance. There is no doubt that he is an exceptional athlete and I suspect that this would be the case no matter what.
PARIS (AP) — The director of the Tour de France claims Lance Armstrong has “fooled” the sports world and that the seven-time champion owes fans an explanation over new allegations he used a performance-boosting drug.
Tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc’s comments appeared in the French sports daily L’Equipe on Wednesday, a day after the newspaper reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the ’99 Tour tested positive for the red blood cell-booster EPO.
“For the first time — and these are no longer rumors, or insinuations, these are proven scientific facts — someone has shown me that in 1999, Armstrong had a banned substance called EPO in his body,” Leblanc told L’Equipe.
“The ball is now in his court. Why, how, by whom? He owes explanations to us and to everyone who follows the tour. Today, what L’Equipe revealed shows me that I was fooled. We were all fooled.”
On Tuesday, Leblanc called the latest accusations against Armstrong shocking and troubling.
Armstrong, a frequent target of L’Equipe, vehemently denied the allegations Tuesday, calling the article “tabloid journalism.”
“I will simply restate what I have said many times: I have never taken performance-enhancing drugs,” he said on his Web site.”