Tour Of California Strengthens Anti-Doping Program

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Lance Armstrong rides in the Tour of California. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong rides in the Tour of California. (Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

LAKE TAHOE (AP) ― The Tour of California bicycle race has strengthened its anti-doping program to start pre-race testing earlier and have the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, not cycling’s governing body, oversee in-competition testing.

The race, which runs May 15-22 and begins in Lake Tahoe, dropped a provision that excluded riders who were the subject of a pending doping investigation. Tour officials were peppered with questions Wednesday about how the rule change might affect the participation of Lance Armstrong, who has yet to say whether he will compete.

KCBS’ Bob Melrose Reports:

A federal grand jury in California has been hearing evidence for months on cheating in professional cycling. The investigation turned toward Armstrong — and several of his associates have testified — since former teammate Floyd Landis accused him of systematic doping. Armstrong has always denied using performance-enhancing drugs.

USADA CEO Travis Tygart said his organization wanted the rule rescinded because it violated athletes’ due process.

(© 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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