France’s sports minister has said Lance Armstrong will be “particularly monitored” in anti-doping checks at this year’s Tour de France.

Roselyne Bachelot said the seven-times winner, who has come out of retirement to compete and has always denied taking banned substances, would be watched.

“He will be particularly, particularly, particularly monitored,” she said.

The head of France’s anti-doping agency says the American would be treated like anyone else when it came to dope tests.

In recent years, the world’s most famous cycling race has been blighted by numerous doping incidents, and the International Cycling Union plans more than 500 tests during this year’s race in an effort to alleviate the problem.

“There needs to be a really very, very active fight against doping,” said Bachelot.

“The organisers know how much a positive doping test could have harmful effects.”