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Because of a new rule requiring an athlete to be registered in the sports out of competition drug testing program at least six months before entering competition, Lance Armstrong may not be able to participate in Australia's Tour Down Under in January.

Lance Armstrong's planned comeback in Australia may be thwarted by doping rules, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid said on Saturday.

Riders entering or re-entering professional cycling need to be in the UCI's anti-doping programme and possess a biological passport six months ahead of competing.
 I can understand that there are rules to be followed, but there also needs to be some common sense. Lance is not going to win his first race back in the peloton.  If he is in the program 5 months instead of 6 is it really going to make a difference.  Hopefully reason will prevail in this situation, but we are dealing with the sport of cycling where there is rarely a decision that makes sense.

Updated 9/27

The actual rule is the following (emphasis mine)

A Rider who has given notice of retirement from cycling to the UCI may not resume competing at international level unless he notifies the UCI at least 6 (six) months in advance before he expects to return to international competition and is available for unannounced Out-of-Competition Testing, at any time during the period before actual return to competition.
The way this rule is written would apear to leave some room for interpretation.  Armstrong expected to return to racing in February in California, but is actual return date was updated to be the Tour Down Under after official in Australia invited him there.  If he is available for testing before his actual return to competition, then that seems to be withing the rules.
 
I'm sure Lance will have his lawyers on this.

 

 

 

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