Nice - Seven-time Tour de France champion
Lance Armstrong will be denied entry to the Nice leg of the Ironman
series due to an ongoing doping investigation into the American, the
event organisers said on Thursday.
Armstrong, whose career has been
dogged by unfounded allegations of doping, is the subject of fresh
allegations by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) which could
lead to the stripping of his titles.
Organisers of the Nice
Ironman, to be held June 24, said through spokesperson Delphine Vivet:
"The rules governing the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC) state that no
athletes under investigation can participate in the event."
decision, of which Armstrong had already been informed by the WTC, ends
the American's plans for the French race following his victory at a
recent, smaller triathlon event.
Armstrong had recently rented a
villa in the region, at Cap d'Ail, and had been spotted at a pool used
by some of France's top swimming stars including Yannick Agnel and
The eighth edition of the Nice Ironman is set to welcome 2000 athletes from 57 countries.
begins with a 3.8 km swim in the Mediterranean, is followed by a bike
race on a 180 km circuit and concludes with a full marathon over 42.195
USADA chief executive Travis Tygart issued a statement
on Wednesday confirming "that written notice of allegations of anti-doping
rule violations was sent on Wednesday to him (Armstrong) and to five
additional individuals all formerly associated with the United States
Postal Service professional cycling team.
"These individuals include three team doctors and two team officials.
formal notice letter is the first step in the multi-step legal process
for alleged sport anti-doping rule violations," Tygart said.
- who has vehemently denied using performance-enhancing drugs during
his career - angrily said the new "baseless" charges stem from
"discredited" allegations from the past.
"I have been notified
that USADA... intends to again dredge up discredited allegations dating
back more than 16 years to prevent me from competing as a triathlete and
try and strip me of the seven Tour de France victories I earned,"
Armstrong said in a statement.
He slammed the agency as "an organisation largely funded by taxpayer dollars but governed only by self-written rules."