Former BigMat Auber93 team doctor arrested in doping case, riders heard as witnesses
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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Former BigMat Auber93 team doctor arrested in doping case, riders heard as witnesses

by Shane Stokes at 12:12 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
OCLAESP investigating Dr Philippe Bedoucha in connection to EPO and HGH

The former team doctor of the BigMat-Auber93 team has been arrested by French police as part of an ongoing investigation into suspected doping, and a number of riders have been interviewed as possible witnesses in the case.

According to L’Equipe, Dr. Philippe Bedoucha was taken into custody in Créteil on suspicion of supplying some riders with EPO or growth hormone. Also linked to the case is the former mountainbike rider Jean-Philippe Tellier, who tested positive for EPO last year. He was arrested yesterday morning.

Approximately ten riders from the Continental BigMat – Auber93 team agreed to speak to police from the division of the Central office for the fight against harm to the environment and public health (OCLAESP). Also being heard is former team rider Arnold Jeannesson, who raced with Caisse d’Epargne for two years and FDJ this season. He was fifteenth in the last Tour de France, third in the 2008 Tour de l’Avenir and is seen as one of the big French hopes for the future.

At this point in time, the riders are regarded as witnesses only and are not considered guilty of wrongdoing.

The investigation concerns the possible acquisition, sale and possession of doping products.

The BigMat-Auber93 team is currently a relatively small squad, although previously it rode five Tours de France between 1996 and 2001. Bedoucha worked there as team doctor until the end of 2010.

In addition to backing the Continental outfit, the BigMat company also plans to step up a level in 2012 and be part of the sponsorship of a team which will ride the Tour de France. It was in talks with the Garmin-Cervélo squad, but ultimately decided to back Jeannesson’s FDJ team.

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