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Thursday, July 22, 1999 Published at 08:41 GMT 09:41 UK

Armstrong cleared over drug use

Armstrong in the clear over drugs

American Lance Armstrong, the leader of the Tour de France, did nothing wrong by using a skin cream containing banned substances, according to cycling's governing body.

The International Cycling Union, the UCI, confirmed newspaper reports on Wednesday that small amounts of corticoids were found in a urine sample taken from Armstrong.

Corticoids are on the list of banned substances but riders are allowed to use them if they are prescribed for medical reasons. Armstrong used the cream to treat a skin allergy.

[ image: Armstrong:
Armstrong:"Fervently anti-drugs"
After the drugs scandal in last year's race, the spotlight has been trained very closely on the 1999 Tour de France.

Armstrong, who has made a remarkable fightback from testicular cancer, still leads the race after today's 16th stage - the last in the mountains.

But he has had to put up with a whispering campaign about drugs. Since last year's Tour, questions have been raised over any outstanding performance.

Armstrong's doctor, Lawrence Einhorn, said the rider was a fervent supporter of the struggle against drugs in the sport.

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