15 Feb 2009

Armstrong abandons independent drug testing programme

9:14 am on 15 February 2009

The Seven-times Tour de France cycling champion Lance Armstrong has abandoned his much-trumpeted proposal for an independent drug-testing programme because of logistical problems and high costs.

The American rider, who competed for the first time in three-and-a-half years at last month's Tour Down Under in Australia, had initially intended to hire anti-doping expert Don Caitlin to supervise a transparent biological monitoring.

However, Armstrong says he'll now use the Astana team's internal testing programme due to administration, coordination and costs.

In September, Armstrong said the Astana team would hire Catlin to supervise a biological monitoring of him that would be made available online throughout his training and racing.

The American has been dogged by doping suspicions over the years, although he has vehemently denied ever using performance-enhancing drugs.