Armstrong In Midst of Doping Investigation Again

Lance Armstrong of US signals seven, for seventh-straight win of the Tour de France, during 21st and final stage of the race, Paris, 2005/7/24. AP

The questions surrounding Lance Armstrong's claim to never have used performance enhancing drugs only seem to get deeper with time. In the latest chapter of the did-he-or-didn't-he saga, U.S. investigators have gone to France to talk with the French agency that has stored some of Armstrong's urine samples, the Associated Press reports.

The agency plans to share everything it knows with the Americans during a scheduled meeting sometime this week, a French official said.

The official said the American delegation is comprised of U.S. Food and Drug Administration Agent Jeff Novitzky, famous for being at the center of the BALCO Investigation that outted Barry Bonds and Marion Jones as PED users. Others believed to be part of the investigation are U.S. federal prosecutor Doug Miller and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, the AP reports.

The investigation into doping in cycling heated up after Floyd Landis, famously stripped of his 2006 Tour de France win for doping, admitted this past spring to taking performance enhancing drugs. During his mea culpa, Landis fingered Armstrong and other teammates for what he described as "systemic" PED abuse.

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The former head of the French agency, Pierre Bordry, previously promised to hand over Armstrong's samples from the 1999 Tour de France to Novitzky if the agent made an official request.

The French official said he doesn't know whether U.S. investigators have formally requested the samples.

The French sports daily L'Equipe reported in 2005 that Armstrong's samples from 1999 contained traces of the banned performance-enhancer EPO.

An investigator mandated by cycling's international governing body, the UCI, later cleared Armstrong. The seven-time Tour de France winner has repeatedly denied allegations that he took performance-enhancing drugs.
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