Lance Armstrong suggested yesterday that he's the victim of a "setup," saying he doesn't trust the French lab that released test results leading to blood doping allegations against him.

Armstrong's comments came after Dick Pound, head of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said officials had received the lab results and would review them.

"There's a setup here and I'm stuck in the middle of it," Armstrong told the Associated Press. "I absolutely do not trust that laboratory."

The French sports daily L'Equipe reported Tuesday that six urine samples Armstrong provided during his first tour win in 1999 tested positive for the red blood cell-booster EPO.

"If he had one, you could say it was an aberration," Pound said. "When you get up to six, there's got to be some explanation."

Armstrong, who retired after his seventh straight tour win in July, has angrily denied the L'Equipe report. He also said that while Pound might trust the lab that tested the samples, "I certainly don't."

* HOCKEY: The Washington Capitals made a minor move, signing free agent center Dave Steckel to a two-year contract. The 23-year-old is expected to play for the club's AHL affiliate in Hershey, Pa.

Steckel (6 feet 5 and 200 pounds) was a first-round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings in 2001 and played four years for Ohio State. He made his professional debut with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL last season.

The Capitals also renewed their affiliation with the South Carolina Stingrays of the ECHL.

* TENNIS: Lindsay Davenport escaped with a 6-2, 7-6 (7-5) victory over Slovakia's Daniela Hantuchova to reach the Pilot Pen semifinals in New Haven, Conn., putting her within one win of regaining the No. 1 ranking from Maria Sharapova.

* MEN'S BASKETBALL: Lynn Greer made three free throws with 1.2 seconds left to lead the United States to a 96-94 victory over Brazil at the Americas World Championship qualifying tournament in Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic.

* SOCCER: Defender-midfielder Ian Rodway, a four-year starter at the University of Maryland, has been invited to train with D.C. United and could be offered a developmental contract by the Sept. 15 roster deadline, team officials said.

-- From News Services

and Staff Reports