Armstrong Hits Back at Critical Tour Official

7-time winner says clean record refutes 'embarrassing' charge
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 6, 2008 9:32 AM CDT
Lance Armstrong, left, shown during a news conference in Las Vegas, Nev., Jan. 29, 2008, will team with Alberto Contador, right, shown during a news conference in Albuquerque, NM   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Lance Armstrong pointed yesterday to his clean drug record in dismissing jabs from the head of the Tour de France's parent company, the BBC reports. “I won the Tour 7 straight years and was never found to be guilty of doping,” said the cyclist, planning a 2009 comeback, after an official alluded to drug allegations in saying Armstrong “embarrasses” the event.

Armstrong also pointed to the benefits he brought to the sport, including TV ratings, tourism, and eager sponsorships. The official's remarks, says the 37-year-old Armstrong, come “as an issue of distraction. While I love the event and France's people, I cannot accept this sort of grandstanding.”