French say Lance Armstrong violated anti-doping rules

He may have passed the tests but French anti-doping agency isn't going to let it lie...

The blood, urine and hair samples taken from Lance Armstrong on 17 March may have all tested negative for banned substances but the French anti doping agency (AFLD) still says that he violated anti-doping rules because according to the AFLD doctor sent to administer the tests he: “Did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of the tester”.

This one will run and run, both WADA and the UCI have said that they have no powers to act on an AFLD report to them about Armstrong's behaviour when the AFLD doctor called to take hair samples from him because they do not recognise the validity of this particular method of testing.

It now seems that the AFLD is changing tactics by instead focusing on the claim that Armstrong was not under the direct supervision of the tester at all times during the testing period. If they can prove that Armstrong was out of the tester's supervision for any part of the blood or urine testing procedures the UCI and WADA may be interested, however if this is all about the haircut they probably won't.

Equally if the Doctor is citing the time spent verifying his identity by Johan Brunyeel the AFLD are also likely to get short shrift from the UCI and WADA as Brunyeel rang the heads of both organisations to find out who the doctor was – so they already know about that and have not felt the need to act.

Whichever is the case we haven't heard the last of Lance's haircut yet, and this is just the warm-up for what we can expect if, or more likely, when he competes in this year's Tour de France.

Tony has been editing cycling magazines and websites since 1997 starting out as production editor and then deputy editor of Total Bike, acting editor of Total Mountain Bike and then seven years as editor of Cycling Plus. He launched his first cycling website - the Cycling Plus Forum at the turn of the century. In 2006 he left C+ to head up the launch team for Bike Radar which he edited until 2008, when he co-launched the multi-award winning - which he continues to edit today. His favourite ride is his ‘commute’ - which he does most days inc weekends and he’s been cycle-commuting since 1994. His favourite bikes are titanium and have disc brakes.

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