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Lance Armstrong Hits Out at Doping Accusations

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Aug 26, 2005 | 9:36am EDT

Cycling camp Lance Armstrong has hit out at accusations he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his first Tour de France.

The race's director Jean-Marie LeBlanc recently said Aug. 24 that seven-time Tour de France winner Armstrong "fooled" officials and the sporting world by doping.

His comments came just a day after French sports daily newspaper L'Equipe reported that six urine samples provided by Armstrong during the first of his seven Tour de France championships in 1999 tested positive for the red blood-cell booster EPO.

Armstrong says of LeBlanc, "I actually spoke to him for about 30 minutes and he didn't say any of that stuff to me personally.

"But to say that I've fooled the fans is preposterous. I've been doing this a long time. We have not just one year of only B samples; we have seven years of A and B samples. They've all been negative."

EPO, formally known as erythropoietin, was on the list of banned substances at the time Armstrong won the first of his seven Tour de France races, but there was no effective test at the time to detect it.

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