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Armstrong fends off latest doping claims

Seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong has been forced to fend off new claims of doping during his historic winning streak, on the eve of the launch of another book by investigative journalist David Walsh titled From Landis to Lance: Inside the American Doping Controversy at the Tour de France. The Irishman's last title on the topic, L.A. Confidential: The Secrets Of Lance Armstrong, was controversial, despite never being published in English, due to allegations that Armstrong had doped during his career.

In a to the point interview with Sports Illustrated, the American has again flatly denied having ever taken performance enhancing drugs.

"Absolutely," confirmed Armstrong to Sports Illustrated when asked if he was clean during all of his Tour victories. "I won the Tour de France once, twice, seven times, because I was the most talented person in the field.

"Say you cheated in '99, and got away with one," he continued. "Remember, in 2000 there was not a test for EPO, and we clobbered everybody. Some would say the entire field was on EPO. But only one athlete, and only one team, was federally investigated in France, had all their samples confiscated and got them tested, by three separate laboratories. So, in 2001, you're saying to yourself, I'm not taking that chance again.

"Then how was it, in 2001, that I went faster? And in 2002 faster still. [2003] was a bad year, but in '04 and '05, I never slowed down. If I cheated, How did I get away with it?"

While publisher Random House hasn't released details surrounding the contents of Walsh's latest work, due to be released next week, it's expected to expand on allegations made in the first book. Unlike his previous work, this one is expected to be published in English and widely distributed.

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