Katusha confirms it handed over rider files to Italian police
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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Katusha confirms it handed over rider files to Italian police

by Shane Stokes at 4:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Says no search was conducted of team premises

Team KatushaFollowing on from earlier reports of a raid on the Katusha team headquarters, the team has confirmed that the police agents from the Italian NAS (Nucleo Antisofisticazioni e Sanitā) division visited the headquarters at Lake Garda today, but played down suggestions that it was searched. It stated that information was requested on four current team riders, plus one who has left the squad.

“Today, the Nas Unit of Carabinieri Army came in our General Headquarters in Lonato,” it said in a statement. “The members of the army didn't any search, but they restricted their visit to checking five riders’ case history, one of them no longer enrolled in our team.

“We obviously offered our complete collaboration, giving to the soldiers the requested paper documents.”

Earlier reports in Italian media said that the riders concerned were Russians who live in Spain. No details of their identities have emerged, nor indeed the nature of the investigation.

The team made headlines two years ago when it said that it had introduced a stringent anti-doping penalty system, which would see any riders caught for doping being required to pay a fine equivalent to five years’ salary.

There were protests at that, but eventually most riders signed. Belgian rider Gert Steegmans refused to do so, saying that the fine was excessive. He went to Team RadioShack in 2010, and has since returned to Quick Step.

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