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Lance Armstrong: 1999 Tour De France Doping Cover-Up Instigated By Ex-UCI President Hein Verbuggen

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Lance Armstrong leaves the podium after retaining the yellow jersey as overall leader at the end of the eighth stage of the 92nd Tour de France cycling race between Pforzheim and Gerardmer, 09 July 2005. | SEBASTIEN BERDA via Getty Images

LONDON (AP) — Lance Armstrong claims former UCI president Hein Verbuggen instigated a cover-up of his doping at the 1999 Tour de France.

Armstrong tells Britain's Daily Mail newspaper that Verbruggen insisted "we've got to come up with something" to explain his positive tests for a banned corticosteroid.

The International Cycling Union accepted Armstrong's backdated prescription for a cream to treat saddle sores. That allowed Armstrong to continue in the race, and he went on to win the first of his seven Tours.

Armstrong says Verbruggen described the positive tests as "the knockout punch for our sport" before the backdated prescription was accepted.

Verbruggen, who served as UCI president until 2005, did not respond to messages Monday. The Dutchman has long denied any collusion with Armstrong.

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