French anti-doping agency (AFLD) says it could punish Armstrong

Agency runs controversial national anti-doping lab (LNDD)

Update:  MSNBC video (01:07)
(Ed. note: Lots of ridiculous AFLD chest-thumping lately.)

Paris (cyclingfans.com) - The French anti-doping agency, the Agence Francaise de Lutte Contre le Dopage (AFLD), which oversees the controversial French national anti-doping lab (LNDD), said today that seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong violated its rules and that it could punish him.  Though AFLD did not elaborate, it has the authority to prevent an athlete from competing in France.

Following a surprise visit last month, tests were conducted on Armstrong's hair, urine and blood.  No traces of drugs were found.

In a statement Thursday, AFLD said that a doctor charged with collecting the samples claimed Armstrong "did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation" of the doctor.  Armstrong has previously responded to these allegations.

The center of AFLD's anti-doping efforts, the lab at Chatenay-Malabry near Paris, has had its image tarnished in recent years due to sloppy lab work and the high profile case of Floyd Landis who failed an anti-doping test following his 2006 victory in the Tour de France.  In the aftermath of the controversy, the French government sought to replace the lab's director, Jacques de CEAURRIZ, but he remains as director at the facility.

(photo Copyright © Pete Geyer/cyclingfans.com)