Lance Armstrong attends an interview prior to the Tour Down Under cycling event on January 15, 2011. (credit: Mark Gunter/AFP/Getty Images)

Lance Armstrong  (credit: Mark Gunter/AFP/Getty Images)

LONDON (AP) — Lance Armstrong claims former UCI president Hein Verbuggen instigated a cover-up of his doping at the 1999 Tour de France.

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Armstrong tells Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that Verbruggen insisted “we’ve got to come up with something” to explain his positive tests for a banned corticosteroid.

The International Cycling Union accepted Armstrong’s backdated prescription for a cream to treat saddle sores. That allowed Armstrong to continue in the race, and he went on to win the first of his seven Tours.

Armstrong says Verbruggen described the positive tests as “the knockout punch for our sport” before the backdated prescription was accepted.

Verbruggen, who served as UCI president until 2005, did not respond to messages Monday. The Dutchman has long denied any collusion with Armstrong.

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