Armstrong responds to Tour snub

Seven-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong has reacted to Jean-Marie Leblanc and Christian Prudhomme's words at the presentation of the 2006 Tour route, during which the former and current Tour directors dismissed Armstrong's wins out of hand.

"On the 24th of July we turned the page on a long, very long chapter in the history of the Tour de France. And one month later, current events made it clear to us that it was just as well that this was so," the pair said in their mission statement, alluding to the accusations brought forward by L'Equipe in August that Armstrong had tested positive for EPO on six separate occasions during the 1999 Tour. When questioned about Armstrong, Le Blanc was more direct: "Without doubt...what we have learned has increased the lassitude toward him," he said to AP. He was not irreproachable in '99. EPO is a doping product. So this tempers and dilutes his performances and his credibility as a champion."

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