Lance Armstrong received strong backing yesterday from cycling's domestic governing body, which said accusations against the seven-time Tour de France champion are "completely without credibility."

"Preposterous is a strong word, but it is warranted in this case," said Gerard Bisceglia, chief executive of USA Cycling.

Armstrong has denied reports in the French media this week that he used a banned blood booster in his first tour victory in 1999. The sports newspaper L'Equipe reported that new tests on six urine samples Armstrong provided during the 1999 tour resulted in positive results for the red blood cell-booster EPO.

"Lance Armstrong is one of the most tested athletes in the history of sport and he has come up clean every single time," Bisceglia said. "This kind of years-ago testing of a single sample with new technology is completely without credibility."

Although Armstrong has not said if he'll pursue legal action, Bisceglia said USA Cycling will support him in whatever way he chooses to "denounce these accusations."

On Thursday, Armstrong lashed out at the French lab that produced the findings.

"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."

-- From News Services