Tour de France organiser Christian Prudhomme said Thursday that disgraced rider Lance Armstrong, who was stripped of his seven Tour titles because of doping, "was already in the past".
Prudhomme added that it was a surprise that Armstrong had given a television interview, to be broadcast at 1pm AEDT on Friday, in which he reportedly admitted doping.
"No one could have imagined only a few weeks ago that Lance Armstrong would make his confession publicly, that he would confess in public to having been doped," said Prudhomme.
"It's obviously something very important but I can't say more than that, I don't know more than you. I don't know what he'll say. For us, Lance Armstrong is already in the past."
"The Tour de France has been getting better for several years now," added Prudhomme when asked about the race's history of drug scandals. "What is going on at the moment is part of the past.
"We are starting with a clean slate and we have to get to the end of that slate. It's not just a subject that affects cycling. This is something that affects many other sports as well.
Prudhomme, speaking in Leeds as he announced the start dates for the 2014 Tour de France, added: "Although this has all happened in the past 20 years, we are looking forward to the future when things will be much cleaner, bearing in mind this is something that affects other sports.
"Cycling has without doubt cheated a lot in the past without any doubt. But for several years now it has made enormous efforts in this struggle and we need to continue those efforts."