Phillips says the French have always been suspicious of Lance Armstrong's domination of the Tour, their premier sporting event.
Now, the country's top sports newspaper charges the seven-time Tour winner of the one thing he has always vehemently denied: cheating.
The sports daily l'Equipe says it has proof that recent tests of blood and urine samples frozen since 1999, the year of the first of Armstrong's consecutive wins, prove he used a performance enhancing substance called EPO. At the time, Phillips says, there was no EPO test.
"We're not calling for any sanctions against Lance Armstrong," l'Equipe's editor, Michel Dalloni says in defending the paper's story.
On his Web site, Armstrong accused the paper of a witch-hunt, and again denied ever taking performance enhancing drugs.
EPO increases the body's capacity to absorb oxygen into the bloodstream, improving endurance in a sport where endurance counts.
In regular testing since 1999 Armstrong has always come out clean.
In his denial Tuesday, Armstrong says the newspaper admits the science used in the testing of the old samples is questionable.