Tour de France doping evidence accumulates

29th August 2006, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - An ongoing doping investigation which led to top riders being excluded from this year's Tour de France could lead to sanctions being dealt out.

PARIS, Aug 29, 2006 (AFP) - An ongoing doping investigation which led to top riders being excluded from this year's Tour de France could lead to sanctions being dealt out.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on its website  on Tuesday that Spanish authorities are set to provide new evidence on the riders who have been implicated.

A statement on the website said: "The Spanish government has informed the UCI that further information in connection with the current investigations being conducted by the Guardia Civil (police) as part of operation Puerto will be handed over to it.

"This information will be included in the files that the UCI has on the riders involved and will be sent to the National Federations concerned, to enable them to take the necessary decisions.

"The UCI reiterates its determination to fight against doping as severely as possible and to respect legal procedures and rules."

The start of this year's Tour de France was thrown into turmoil when a total of 13 riders - including Germany's Jan Ullrich and Italian Ivan Basso - were suspended by their teams for alleged involvement in the affair.

It erupted after police investigating doping in Spain, following the introduction of tough new laws, arrested the former manager of Liberty Seguros, Manolo Saiz, while he was trying to buy banned products.

At the same time, police raided the offices of a Spanish doctor, Eufemiano Fuentes, who is suspected of organising a blood doping network and of supplying banned doping products to around 58 riders.

Former Olympic champion and Tour de France winner Ullrich was sacked by T-Mobile after his implication became too much for the German outfit.

Information passed by the UCI to the national cycling federations of the cyclists concerned meanwhile may lead to relevant sanctions.

Copyright AFP

Subject: French news

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