The 100th edition of the Tour de France has started on the French island of Corsica.
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has sought to clarify recent comments made in French newspaper Le Monde about winning the Tour de France.
He was quoted as saying it would be impossible to win the famous race without doping, however he took to Twitter to say
For the record, there is a significant difference between WAS and IS. Past and present tense.
Read: Armstrong: 'Impossible' to win Tour without doping
The 100th Tour De France will begin today with 212km stage one from Porto-Vecchio to Bastia in Corsica.
Last year's runner-up to Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, will lead Team Sky and is favourite to become the second British winner.
Wiggins is unable to compete this year due to illness and injury.
He said: "It is very sad that Lance Armstrong has decided to make this statement on the 100th anniversary of the Tour de France. However, I can tell him categorically that he is wrong. His comments do absolutely nothing to help cycling.
"The culture within cycling has changed since the Armstrong era and it is now possible to race and win clean.
"Riders and teams owners have been forthright in saying that it is possible to win clean – and I agree with them.
“Cycling today has the most sophisticated anti-doping infrastructure in sport. Measures such as the introduction of the blood passport, the whereabouts system and the ‘no-needle’ policy are the backbone of our relentless fight against doping."
Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, who cheated his way to win seven Tour de France titles, said it would have been impossible to win the famous race without doping.
"My name was taken out of the palmares (list of achievements) but the Tour was held between 1999 and 2005 wasn't it?
"There must be a winner then. Who is he? Nobody came forward to claim my jerseys."
Bernard Hinault, who won the Tour five times, reacted by telling TV channel BFM: "He must not know what it was like to ride without doping."
The Livestrong Foundation, the cancer charity founded by disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong, said that Nike had dropped its sponsorship of the group, which is known for its distinctive yellow wristbands.
The group had flourished during Armstrong's cycling career, which saw him win the grueling Tour de France race seven times, titles he was stripped of last year amid accusations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.
Armstrong admitted to doping early this year and stepped aside from the charity, which he had founded after being diagnosed with testicular cancer.
"We expected and planned for changes like this and are therefore in a good position to adjust swiftly and move forward with our patient-focused work," the group said in a statement.
US Masters Swimming Executive Director Rob Butcher confirmed that disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong has pulled out three events he was scheduled to appear in this weekend.
Butcher told the Associated Press that the change of heart was likely caused by objections raised by FINA, the international governing body for swimming.
He doesn't want to cause any more harm to any more organisations. His interest was around fitness and training. In light of FINA and the other political stuff, he will not be swimming.
Lance Armstrong has pulled out of the swimming competition he was due to take part in this weekend in Austin, Texas, Sky News report.
FINA, the international governing body for swimming, has written to the US Masters Swimming to advise them to reject Lance Armstrong's entry to take part in a competition scheduled this weekend.
The disgraced cyclist was planning to use the small low-profile event in Austin, Texas, to make a return to competitive sport.
The competition falls under the jurisdiction of the US Masters Swimming. In a statement, the governing body said:
FINA wrote a letter to the US Masters Swimming (with copy to US Aquatic Sports and USA Swimming) requesting not to accept the entry of Mr. Lance Armstrong in the [...] competition.
Lance Armstrong's return to competitive sport this weekend will be against veteran swimmers, a Texas newspaper reported.
Most competitors in the US Masters Swimming event entered by Armstrong will be older than the 41-year-old cyclist, the Austin American-Statesman said.
Armstrong is banned for life from all competitions that adhere to world anti-doping codes, but is allowed to take part in the low-profile Austin swimming event.
US Masters Swimming executive director Rob Butcher said nobody had raised formal objections to Armstrong competing.
Butcher added: "The purpose of our organisation is to encourage adults to swim."