Armstrong under doping watch at Tour de France

Jul 3, 2009 - 5:20 PM PARIS(AP) -- France's sports minister says Lance Armstrong will be "particularly monitored" for doping during the Tour de France.

The seven-time Tour winner has come out of retirement to ride in cycling's showcase. The three-week race starts Saturday in Monaco.

"The (doping) controls will be multiplied, and I tell Lance Armstrong that he will be particularly, particularly, particularly monitored," Sports Minister Roselyne Bachelot said Friday on French cable TV.

Armstrong, who has denied ever having taken banned substances during his cycling career, responded with a post on Twitter: "No worries, it's been this way for 10 years. I have nothing to hide."

France's anti-doping agency is working with cycling's governing body on doping checks during the race. The agency has said the Texan will be treated like any other rider.

The International Cycling Union, whose sport has been battered by drug and cheating scandals, is planning more than 500 doping checks during this Tour.

"There needs to be a really very, very active fight against doping," Bachelot said. "The organizers know how much a positive doping test could have harmful effects."

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