France's anti-doping agency accused Lance Armstrong of violating its rules Thursday for not fully co-operating with a drug tester and says it could punish the seven-time Tour de France champion.

Armstrong has denied misbehaving during a test of his hair, urine and blood on March 17. No banned substances were found.

However, the agency, known as AFLD, said in a statement that the doctor leading the tests maintains Armstrong `did not respect the obligation to remain under the direct and permanent observation' of the tester.

At question is a 20-minute delay when Armstrong says the tester agreed to let him shower while the American rider's assistants checked the tester's credentials.

AFLD said cycling's governing body has given its permission to open disciplinary procedures against Armstrong, but did not say what the punishment could be.

AFLD president Pierre Bordry noted that the statement does not say that Armstrong is guilty of an infraction.

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