Lance Armstrong competes in the Tour de France on Tuesday. ((Jasper Juinen/Getty Images))

Lance Armstrong lashed out at former Tour de France boss Patrice Clerc on Tuesday, saying he should take responsibility for the doping scandals at the race during the American's three-year absence.

Armstrong was responding to comments made by Clerc, the former head of Tour organizer ASO, who told French newspaper Le Monde last week that the seven-time champion's return meant "reopening a troubled chapter of the Tour history."

"Was the Tour and was ASO in a perfect situation when I was gone?" Armstrong said when asked about Clerc's statement.

He then alluded to "dissension and corruption among the ranks," noting "under his reign, and under his leadership, cycling was not perfect."

Armstrong returned to the Tour de France competition this year after retiring following his seventh win in 2005.

The American moved up to second place overall after Tuesday's fourth stage, a 24.2-mile team time trial won by his Astana team.

Tour de France has endured a handful of major scandals involving banned substances.

They include Floyd Landis testing positive for testosterone in 2006 and having his title taken away, Michael Rasmussen lying about his whereabouts in pre-race drug tests and six riders found guilty of doping in 2008.

Following his last Tour victory, Armstrong railed against the "cynics and the skeptics" who didn't believe his triumphs were doping-free.

Shortly after his retirement, a French newspaper owned by race organizer ASO reported illegal substances had been found in Armstrong's samples, but a Dutch lawyer later cleared him.