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Lance Armstrong barred from Greenville ride

LOS ANGELES: Disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong has been barred from taking part in a cycling event with ex-US Postal Service teammates as part of his lifetime ban for using performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstong’s plan to ride this weekend was scuttled because the non-competitive event in South Carolina comes under the umbrella of Colorado Springs-based USA Cycling.

The Gran Fondo Hincapie, which is named after Armstrong’s former USA teammate George Hincapie, is a 128-kilometre (80 mile) touring trek set for Saturday around Greenville, South Carolina.

“USA Cycling has informed USADA that the Hincapie Gran Fondo constitutes a cycling “activity” that is “authorized” by USA Cycling as those terms are used in the World Anti-Doping Code and in the Anti-Doping provisions of the UCI (International Cycling Union) Cycling Regulations. Under these provisions, an athlete’s suspension bars participation in an authorized activity such as this,” USA Cycling spokesman Bill Kellick said.

Kellick said that the US Anti-Doping Agency asked USA Cycling to look into the matter after learning that Armstrong was planning to ride. Several of Armstrong’s ex-teammates are scheduled to take part, including Hincapie.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2013 for doping and handed a life ban from the sport, eventually admitting that all seven triumphs were fuelled by performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong admitted to doping during a television interview broadcast in January 2013 with American talk show host Oprah Winfrey.

The Texan admitted to using substances like EPO, human-growth hormone and testosterone and other drugs during the many years he dominated international cycling.

For more than a decade Armstrong repeatedly denied he ever used banned drugs and bullied others who accused him of being a cheater.

Hincapie was one of the main witnesses who testified against Armstrong in the 2012 US Anti-Doping Agency report that exposed Armstrong’s use of performance-enhancing drugs- AFP

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