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Last Updated: Friday, 5 March, 2004, 16:03 GMT
Pound stunned by attack
Lance Armstrong
Armstrong believes he is the most drug-tested athlete in the world
Dick Pound admits he was "astonished" by cycling legend Lance Armstrong's suggestion he was not the right man to run the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The five-time Tour de France winner questioned Pound's suitability after he claimed in an interview that doping has plagued cycling for the past century.

But Pound hit back: "It's astonishing he should attack in such strong terms.

"I have never mentioned his name at any time, and have never cast any doubt on any of his achievements."

French newspaper Le Monde also quoted Pound as saying that all Tour riders were on drugs.

The article infuriated American Armstrong, who asked: "Should a person with such convictions run the world's most important anti-doping agency? I say 'No'."

Armstrong claimed he was the most tested athlete on the planet.

"And I have never tested positive," the Texan said.

In an open letter to several European newspapers, Armstrong also pointed out that cycling only had four positive drugs tests in 2003.

He also accused Pound of concentrating on attacking innocent athletes rather than moving the war on drugs in sport forward.

Pound has replied that he would be delighted to see cycling become a sport clean of drugs, but added recent events indicated there was still work to be done.

"That said," the Canadian lawyer continued, "Wada will always take into account the views of champions such as Armstrong and sporting organisations such as the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Armstrong is currently riding in the Tour of Murcia as part of his preparation for this year's Le Tour.

On Thursday, he struck an early blow in his battle with rival Jan Ullrich, finishing more than a minute clear of the German in a time trial.




SEE ALSO
Cycling to sign drugs code
31 Jan 04  |  Cycling
Pound targets coaches
24 Oct 03  |  Sport Homepage
Armstrong in retirement hint
28 Feb 04  |  Cycling


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