LAKE TAHOE (CBS / AP) — Lance Armstrong, the seven-time winner of the Tour of France, still has apparently not committed to the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, race officials indicated.
Armstrong, a target of an ongoing federal investigation of performance-enhancing drugs in U.S. cycling, was expected to end his career at the California race that runs May 15-22, starting at Lake Tahoe.
“We have no commitment from him,” race president Andrew Messick said recently. “No commitment from RadioShack (his team). The last we heard was he didn’t know.”
Armstrong, 39, finished 67th in Australia’s Tour Down Under, the most current race he has participated in.
Tour of California organizers earlier this month announced a new drug-testing program for America’s biggest cycling event.
They hired the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency to handle testing, including out-of-competition tests, beginning Feb. 15. Testing three months before the race marks a more aggressive approach to the previous five tours.
However, officials also said they no longer would stop cyclists under investigation but who hadn’t been banned from competing — a move some observers believed was designed to encourage Armstrong’s participation.
Last year, the tour followed a practice by the International Cycling Union to prohibit such athletes even though they had not been declared ineligible.
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