Stash of banned products among Duenas' belongings
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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Stash of banned products among Duenas' belongings

by Agence France-Presse at 9:33 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France, Doping

A stash of medical material and a banned substance were among items seized by police from the room of Spanish cyclist Moises Duenas who has been kicked out of the Tour de France after failing a drugs test, a French court heard on Thursday.

The 27-year-old Barloworld rider tested positive for the blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) during the the fourth stage, a 29km time-trial at Cholet. "In the cupboard and among the rider's personal belongings gendarmes found many things including medical material," prosecutor Gerard Aldige told the court. Aldige said that the products included "syringes, needles and blood bags" and a drug called TAD which is not authorised for import or sale in France. "A multitude of other products .. in liquid and sachet form" were also seized," Aldige added.

Duenas was charged with "use and possession of plants and poisonous substances" and could face up to two years in prison and a 3,750 euro fine. He could also be jailed for up to three years for "the importation of banned goods".

Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti, speaking before the start of the 12th stage in Lavelanet on Thursday, denied all knowledge of the discovery and said he had yet to speak to Duenas. "I haven't spoken to any of the authorities yet so I don't know what has been found. I have questions I would like Duenas too," said Corti, admitting his team were now in a precarious situation regarding both the race organisers and their sponsor. "It's a serious situation we are in but I have explained to the organisers that we, as a team, are not implicated in this affair. "I have also spoken to the sponsor and told him everything I know."

Corti said that if Duenas is the only one implicated, his team - which is now down to four riders - would be staying in the race. "If he (Duenas) is the only one implicated then why should the whole team pay for it? We are cooperating and trying to deal with this together," added Corti. "If it turns out that Duenas has been doing all of this behind our backs, then we will start proceedings against him."

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