Cofidis suspends Di Gregorio and will fire him if doping is proved
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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Cofidis suspends Di Gregorio and will fire him if doping is proved

by Shane Stokes at 9:51 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping
 
Team reaffirms anti-doping stance and says it will continue in the Tour de France (updated with Astana comments)

Remy Di GregorioIn the wake of today’s news that one of its riders Remy di Gregorio has been arrested on suspicion of doping, the Cofidis team has said that he is suspended while it awaits further information, and that he will be immediately dismissed if shown to be guilty.

Today’s action is thought to date back to Di Gregorio’s time last year with the Astana team, and therefore is not necessarily a sign of rule breaking by the Cofidis team. It had problems in the past but efforts were made to clean up the squad in more recent years.

It insists that the rider acted alone and that the situation wouldn't affect the team’s goals. “This case is isolated and does not call into question the participation of the team in the Tour de France, and thus penalize those who have nothing to be reproached about,” it said in a statement. “The team will be therefore be at the start tomorrow morning.”

The team outlines the measures it has taken in recent years, claiming to have ‘an exemplary policy against doping,’ which goes beyond international regulations, and said that it has undergone additional controls ordered by the team sponsors, as well as carrying out unspecified ‘preventative actions’ throughout the season.

It is also a member of the MPCC organisation, which has tight regulations in place relating to the use of corticoids and other substances.

However it accepts that it my need to further step up these measures. “We now see that these actions don’t insulate us against the isolated actions of unscrupulous individuals who tarnish the image of the sponsor and that of all other riders on the team,” it stated. “Consequently, in relation to this, all existing measures will not only maintained but also strengthened in the coming days.”

No details have yet emerged about what substances Di Gregorio was believed to have used. It was stated earlier today that the current investigation dates back to when he was with the Astana team last year.

The Astana team has issued a brief statement saying that it doesn’t wish to speak on the matter.

“We are aware of the fact that it is being reported that Remy Di Gregorio has been detained for questioning by French Police as part of an ongoing investigation into alleged doping substances trafficking that was opened last year.,” it stated. “Whilst RDG was a rider with Pro Team Astana until 2011, he is no longer part of our team so it is inappropriate for us to make any comment whatsoever.”

The full Cofidis team statement is as follows:

We just learned that one of our riders, who was on the Tour de France, attempted to resort to the use of doping substances to improve performance.

We currently only have very limited information concerning the events which allegedly took place.

Nevertheless, the suspicion against the rider in question, Remy di Gregorio, lead us to apply sanctions in a strict and immediate manner, which are in force in our team for violation of the rules of ethics. Remy di Gregorio is suspended, from now, as an interim measure, pending further information concerning the reality of the facts alleged against him, If these facts are established, he will be dismissed, as is permitted under the terms of his contract and the ethical policy of the team.

We consider that despite all, this case is isolated and does not call into question the participation of the team in the Tour de France and thus penalize those who have nothing to be reproached about. The team will be therefore be at the start tomorrow morning.

The Cofidis team has put in place for many years an exemplary policy against doping, far beyond that imposed by international regulations in this area. Adherent to the MPCC, the team has always respected and enforced all applicable measures within this movement. Draconian measures of control (including additional random checks periodically carried out by the sponsor), and preventive actions are also conducted throughout the season.

We now see that these actions don’t insulate us against the isolated actions of unscrupulous individuals who tarnish the image of the sponsor and that of all other riders on the team. Consequently, in relation to this, all existing measures will not only maintained but also strengthened in the coming days.

We affirm and reaffirm loudly: "He who cheats does not have a place at Cofidis Competition". That message will be heard by our current riders and those likely to join the team.


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