'Just shameful' - Armitstead reprieve slammed

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Rival cyclist Pauline Ferrand-Prevot has described Lizzie Armitstead's reprieve from an anti-doping violation as "shameful".

Armitstead, the reigning world road race champion, has been cleared to compete at the Olympic Games after winning an appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The 27-year-old had faced the prospect of a lengthy ban, which would have forced her to sit out Rio 2016, after missing three drug tests.

However, Armitstead, who won a silver medal in the 2012 London Olympics individual road race, successfully argued proper procedures were not followed by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) for the first of the missed tests.

Ferrand-Prevot, who finished eighth behind Armitstead and gold medallist Marianne Vos in the road race four years ago, was among those unhappy at the late reprieve.

"Just shameful", the Frenchwoman wrote in a Twitter post accompanying a link to a story about Armitstead's narrow escape.

Making reference to the doping scandal that has rocked Russian sport and tarnished the build-up to this month's Games in Brazil, British former Olympic rowing gold medallist Zac Purchase posted: "Given huge amount of resources @ their disposal, having multiple missed tests/filing failure is a monumental cockup! Imagine what we would be saying if she was Russian ... #NotWorthIt #KeepSportClean."

And Canadian three-time former Olympian cross-country mountain biker Geoff Kabush also used social media to comment on the controversial outcome: "1st test understandable but I'd be hyper aware about missing 2nd. If I missed 2nd there is no chance I'd miss 3rd??? 

"So many questions. How is World Champ suspended for 3 weeks and no one knows? Why did British Cycling fund appeal?"