French agency backs off Armstrong

Updated: April 24, 2009, 1:58 PM ET
Associated Press

PARIS -- France's anti-doping agency said Friday it will not seek sanctions against cyclist Lance Armstrong over a dispute with a drug tester.

The agency said in a statement that it "decided to take into consideration the athlete's written explanations" and will not open disciplinary procedures.

At issue was a 20-minute delay when Armstrong said a drug tester who showed up on March 17 to collect blood, urine and hair samples agreed to let him shower while the American rider's assistants checked the tester's credentials.

The anti-doping agency had argued that he did not fully cooperate, but Armstrong has said he did not try to evade or delay testing.

"Just got the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower gate incident," the seven-time Tour de France winner wrote on social networking site Twitter. "Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."

After a report was submitted to the anti-doping agency saying Armstrong had violated anti-doping rules, Armstrong sent a letter on April 16 explaining his position, AFLD chief Pierre Bordry said.

"It was good that he sent me a letter. I appreciated it, and we took it into account," Bordry told The Associated Press.

In its statement the agency said the blood and urine tests were clean, but that it did not test the hair samples.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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