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Armstrong dismisses question on disgraced cyclist Landis

Lance Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, does not comment because he says he no longer follows competitive cycling.

other Updated: Sep 25, 2007 13:13 IST

Lance Armstrong deflected questions regarding the decision to strip disgraced American cyclist Floyd Landis of the 2006 Tour de France title following a positive drug test.

Armstrong, a seven-time Tour de France winner, told The Vancouver Province newspaper on Sunday that he has no comment because he no longer follows the competitive cycling on a daily basis.

"I would love to answer that question but unfortunately I'm out of that business," Armstrong said. "I only have the ability to focus on one thing at a time."

A US arbitration panel last week stripped Landis of his 2006 Tour de France title by upholding an earlier positive drug test.

Armstrong, who was in Vancouver to raise money to fight cancer, said cycling matters are "just a distraction for me."

"I'm here to fight cancer. I haven't looked online. I still love the bike and ride all the time but on the competitive side I'm just not engaged," Armstrong said.

Landis, a former American teammate of Armstrong, won the 2006 Tour but tested positive for a steroids during the event. That forced Landis to go to an arbitration hearing against the US Anti-Doping Agency.

Armstrong himself has been battling over the years to clear his name of doping allegations.

The latest allegations came in a book by Irish journalist David Walsh in July, which alleges Armstrong and his teammates used creative doping methods to win his record seven Tour de France titles.

Armstrong has faced a stream of similar accusations during his unprecedented run in the world's most prestigious cycling race.

Meanwhile Peal Piatt, a spokeswoman for Landis, said she doesn't expect the San Diego-based cyclist to hold a news conference to address the arbitration panel's decision to strip him of his title and slap him with a two-year ban for using synthetic testosterone.

"I don't know if we are going to have (news conference)," Piatt said. "He's just taking it all in."

First Published: Sep 25, 2007 12:58 IST