Armstrong test cover-up claim denied

Hein Verbruggen, the former head of world cycling, has rejected a claim from Lance Armstrong that he helped cover up a positive drug test for the disgraced American cyclist.

Last month,

Armstrong claimed

that in 1999, the year he won the first of his seven Tour de France titles, Verbruggen encouraged him to stay quiet over a positive test for a banned steroid.

Lance Armstrong

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Lance Armstrong admits doping to win cycling titles

When asked if he colluded with Armstrong, Dutchman Verbruggen said: “It is not true. Lance is mixing up two things, purposefully perhaps.”

Armstrong was

stripped of his Tour de France titles

last year, before admitting he had taken performance-enhancing drugs

during his career.

Verbruggen, 72, was president of the International Cycling Union (UCI) when Armstrong tested positive at the 1999 Tour de France.

Armstrong claims Verbruggen agreed to blame a backdated prescription for a steroid cream to treat saddle sores to help protect the image of the sport.

However Verbruggen, still a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), told BBC Sport’s Matt Slater: “He is mixing up an adverse analytical finding and we have about 3,000 adverse analytical findings per year from all sports.

Lance Armstrong

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“Of these 3,000, there are about 800 which remain and which are to be considered by the governing bodies as positive.

“He was never positive because at that time it was an adverse analytical finding. The laboratory found some cortisones in his sample. That was treated by the French ministry and the French ministry considered that it could not be a doping case because they saw he was not having it every day in his urine, it had to come from an ointment.

“The French then decided this was not a positive case.”

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