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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Cycling News Flash, April 24, 2009

Edited by Laura Weislo

Armstrong: 'Shower-gate' case closed

Lance Armstrong
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

The French anti-doping agency AFLD has confirmed that it will not seek disciplinary action against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong for a March anti-doping control incident.

The AFLD said Friday that it has "decided to take into consideration the athlete's written explanations and, in consequence, not to open a disciplinary procedure against him." It also confirmed that no abnormalities were detected in the urine and blood samples taken during the control.

Armstrong's Astana team spokesman Philippe Maertens confirmed to Cyclingnews that the AFLD met Thursday, and said "the disciplinary commission checked the evidence and explanation from both Lance and the tester and decided not to take the matter further."

The AFLD complained earlier this month that Armstrong left the presence of its doping control officer in order to take a shower. Armstrong, responding to the allegations, claimed he was given permission to leave.

Posting on his Twitter account on Friday, Armstrong wrote, "the word from the French agency AFLD on the shower gate incident. Case closed, no penalty, all samples clean. Onward."

The agency could have pursued a suspension of Armstrong for violating the World Anti-doping Agency's International Standard of Testing Article 5.4.1, which states that the person being subjected to an anti-doping control must remain within the sight of the doping control officer from the time of notification until the sample is collected.

Armstrong said he expected the AFLD's "antics" to prevent him from racing in this year's Tour de France. With the case closed, he will be free to attempt an eighth career victory in the Tour.

Armstrong is currently training in Aspen, Colorado, in preparation for his first attempt at the Giro d'Italia next month. He is recovering from a fractured collarbone that he sustained in the first stage of the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon.

Join the discussion about 'shower-gate' on the Cyclingnews forum here.

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