Cycling: Armstrong's samples showed steroids in 1999, says UCI

PARIS (REUTERS) - Lance Armstrong returned four samples with traces of banned corticosteroids in the 1999 Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said on Wednesday, although the governing body added it did not handle them as positive tests.

On Tuesday the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad published a copy of an alleged internal UCI memo which said a lawyer for the sport's ruling body had said the American's samples from the 1999 showed traces of corticosteroids on four occasions.

Armstrong, who has been banned for life and admitted to doping his way to seven consecutive Tour titles from 1999-2005, had already admitted to using corticosteroids for a saddle sore in 1999 although he produced a back-dated TherApeutic Use Exemption to justify the use of a banned substance.