French dope probe into top cycling team

13th January 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - French police were investigating the Cofidis racing team, for whom Australian champion Stuart O'Grady rides, after arresting Marek Rutkiewicz after uncovering banned substances on the Polish rider when he flew in from Warsaw.

PARIS, Jan 13 (AFP) - French police were investigating the Cofidis racing team, for whom Australian champion Stuart O'Grady rides, after arresting Marek Rutkiewicz after uncovering banned substances on the Polish rider when he flew in from Warsaw.

Police sources confirmed Tuesday that Rutkiewicz, who left Cofidis at the end of the year, and a Cofidis physio, fellow Pole Bogdan Madejak, are suspected of supplying tour riders with banned substances.Madejak escaped arrest and fled to Spain.

Drugs officers acted after listening to Rutkiewicz's mobile phone calls from Poland.

"We're investigating a network dealing in EPO and steroids," a police source said.

However, a raid on the Cofidis team premises at Marcq-en-Baroeul failed to find anything illegal.

Cofidis riders include Britain's world time-trial champion David Millar, world road race champion Igor Astarloa of Spain and France's track world champion Laurent Gane.

Dr Jean-Jacques Menuet, a Cofidis team doctor, who also looks after the French athletics sprint team which includes European 200m champion Muriel Hurtis and former European 100m champion Christine Arron, was interviewed by the police, l'Equipe said.

© AFP

                                Subject: France news

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