Cycling: Armstrong 'not surprised' by French EPO revelations

LONDON (AFP) - Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong said on Thursday he was "not surprised" that 18 leading riders in the 1998 Tour de France have been named by the French Senate as having taken the blood-boosting agent EPO.

The American said "virtually all of us" broke doping rules, after the French Senate released a report saying 18 riders, including the top two finishers in the 1998 Tour, Italy's Marco Pantani and Germany's Jan Ullrich, had tested positive for EPO.

An additional 13 riders were named as having suspicious samples.

Armstrong told www.cyclingnews.com: "My initial reaction is that I am not surprised. As I have said, it was an unfortunate era for all of us and virtually all of us broke the rules and lied about it."

The results also revealed Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 1999.

Armstrong has been stripped of his seven Tour titles for doping offences but no action has been taken against the late Pantani and Ullrich who have retained their podium positions from 1998.