• Lance Armstrong in Afghanistan

Lance Armstrong in Afghanistan (Photo : Facebook/ Lance Armstrong)

Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) President Brian Cookson finds Lance Armstrong's participation in the upcoming fundraising bike ride organized by former soccer player Geoff Thomas "disrespectful," and has urged the former road racing cyclist on Tuesday to withdraw from the charity event that will see him riding the entire Tour de France route just before the official peloton reels off.

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Although not casting doubt on Thomas' intention of raising $1.5 million for fight against blood cancer and admissive to the fact that he has no authority to prevent Armstrong from taking part in the riding event, Cookson is quite adamant and said during the Sports Industry Breakfast Club event sponsored by CWM FX: "I think Geoff Thomas is very well motivated. I'm sure he thought he was doing something good. But in my view bringing Lance Armstrong to ride on some or all of the Tour de France route one day before the actual race - I can't think of a better word than disrespectful."

Cookson utterly unyielding stance may have been rooted from Armstrong's doping scandal that prompted USADA and UCI to give the latter a lifetime ban from competing in cycling and strip the seven consecutive Tour de France titles he bagged from 1999 to 2005 after full investigation revealed that all doping allegations were true.

Responding through email, Armstrong opted to dodge Associated Press' inquiry on Cookson comments and instead said he was "honored and humbled" by the invitation extended to him by the legendary footballer and fellow cancer survivor Geoff Thomas to ride around parts of France to raise money to combat cancer. He also said that since his diagnosis, he has "been 100 percent committed to fighting this dreadful disease that affects millions, and that holds true today."

In September 2013, Armstrong was reportedly asked by Cookson to testify completely about his doping. Armstrong, however, refused to testify until and unless he got a complete amnesty, which Cookson said is most unlikely to happen.