Doping drama rocks Tour

THE Cofidis team have suspended Remy Di Gregorio after the French rider was reportedly taken in by police for questioning over alleged doping offences.

Di Gregorio, who is currently competing in the Tour de France for Cofidis, has been taken to Marseille to help the police with their enquiries, according to reports.

The team have reacted quickly by suspending the 26-year-old "as a precaution" pending further investigation into the matter.

"We have at present very little information about the events which allegedly took place," read a Cofidis team statement.

"Nevertheless, suspicions about the rider in question, Remy Di Gregorio, lead us to apply strict and immediate sanctions in force in our team regarding the violation of ethics rules.

"Remy di Gregorio is therefore suspended, now, as a precaution, pending further information concerning the facts alleged against him.

"If these facts are established, it will be dealt with as specified by the terms of the contract and the ethics policy of the team."

The Cofidis team, led by Yvon Sanquer, insisted that the allegations against their rider would not force their withdrawal from the race.

Cofidis withdrew from the 2007 Tour after Cristian Moreni failed an anti-doping test during the race, but the team are adamant that scenario will not be repeated.

"We believe that this isolated incident should not affect the team participation in the Tour de France and penalise those who have nothing to blame," the statement added.

"The team will present at the start tomorrow morning."

The statement continued: "We affirm and reaffirm loudly: 'He who cheats does not belong in Cofidis'. Let this message be heard by our current riders as well as those likely to join the team."

A media conference was due to be held at the team's rest-day hotel in Bourg-en-Bresse at 4pm local time.

Di Gregorio was 35th after stage nine's time-trial to Besancon, 18 minutes and seven seconds behind race leader Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky).

The Marseille native rode for Francaise des Jeux before spending 2011 at Astana and subsequently joining Cofidis for the 2012 season.

Topics:  doping, tour de france



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