Cyclist Armstrong thrown a lifeline

PARIS - Allan Kelly Lance Armstrong will be able to compete in next year's Tour de France as long as he fully submits to the latest anti-doping controls, the race's director Christian Prudhomme said yesterday.

PARIS - Allan Kelly Lance Armstrong will be able to compete in next year's Tour de France as long as he fully submits to the latest anti-doping controls, the race's director Christian Prudhomme said yesterday.

The 36-year-old American rocked the world of cycling on Tuesday by confirming that he was planning an audacious comeback with a view to winning a record eighth Tour de France next summer.

His seven previous wins from 1999 to 2005 have often been cast into doubt by unproven allegations that he took illegal performance-enhancing drugs and he voiced fears that the race organisers, the Amaury Sport Organisation (Aso), could bar him again as part of their crackdown on doping.

Prudhomme, however, indicated that provided he played by the rules, he would be allowed to compete in next year's race which starts in Monaco.

"As long as his team, and he himself, abide by the rules concerning doping and anti-doping which have considerably evolved in the last few years, we will accept him," Prudhomme told AFP. - Sapa-AFP

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