The shamed sportsman once held seven consecutive Tour De France titles between 1999 and 2005, but in 2012 he was stripped off all his wins and banned from competing in all activities which have drug testing after he admitted cheating during the races.

Despite his spectacular fall from grace in the cycling world, Armstrong has returned to the site of the gruelling contest to ride two stages in two days for charity.

He is joining the British fundraising initiative Le Tour - One Day Ahead to raise funds for Cure Leukaemia and the group of ten riders will cover the route a day before the professional competition.

Armstrong's participation has met with criticism, including from Brian Cookson, the President of cycling governing body Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), who previously said, "It is undesirable, I think it is disrespectful. I think there are plenty of ways of raising money for charity that Lance could do."

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Daily Mail: Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong returns to ride Tour de France ...