19 Nov 2008

Armstong fears being attacked on Tour de France

4:07 pm on 19 November 2008

Lance Armstrong fears being attacked by spectators when he makes his return to cycling's Tour de France next year.

The American, a seven-times winner of the Tour, believes he could be targeted by French fans angry that doping allegations surrounding him have helped to destroy the credibility of the sport's famous race.

In an interview with The Guardian newspaper, Armstrong says he doesn't want to go into an unsafe situation but if he's to believe what he's reading his personal safety could be in jeopardy with spectators lining the roads and at close quarters to the riders.

Three years ago the French sports daily L'Equipe reported that six samples of Armstrong's urine from the 1999 tour had revealed traces of the blood-boosting drug EPO following retrospective testing.

An investigation ordered by cycling's governing body the ICU subsequently concluded that the testing of the samples hadn't been conducted correctly and the results couldn't be regarded as reliable.

Armstrong reiterated to the Guardian that he had declined an offer from France's anti-doping agency to have the samples formally re-tested as an act of good faith because he could not be sure they had not been contaminated.