Tour de France: Page 435

Tour de France race news, results, commentary, and photos. The 106th edition of the Tour de France is one of cycling’s three grand tours.

Piepoli has regrets

Leonardo Piepoli said he fell victim to temptation last summer when he doped during the Tour de France and won a stage using CERA. In an interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Italian climber expressed strong words of regret and misgivings for his decision to take the banned blood booster that has left his career in tatters. “It was a moment of weakness, folly, recklessness. The justification: I was trying to fill a hole in my preparation,” he explained. “What I have done, at 37, with a wife and kid, is unconscionable.”

Schumacher wants to ride

Stefan Schumacher told a German newspaper on Sunday that despite the fact that he tested positive for CERA at this summer’s Tour de France that he “never resorted to doping” and fully intends to ride for Quick Step in 2009. Despite his plans to ride, Schumacher conceded that he has is uncertain if he will be able to pull it off in time to join the Belgian team. "I am innocent, I like my job,” Schumacher told Germany’s Sonntag Aktuell. “I'm only 27 years old and I'm super motivated. I want to win races and want to get my career back on track.”

Prosecutor: Two years for Piepoli

Italy's Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri on Thursday asked for disgraced cyclist Leonardo Piepoli to be banned for two years. Piepoli failed a dope test during July's Tour de France for a variant of blood-booster EPO that was undetectable at the time but was later found in re-tested samples. The 37-year-old, who had failed to show for a previous hearing in October, denied knowingly doping during his 20-minute hearing to which he arrived without his lawyer.

Stefan Schumacher says he’s suing

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, who failed two drugs tests at the Tour de France, confirmed Thursday he was suing the French anti-doping authorities (AFLD) for defamation. A statement issued by Schumacher's lawyer Michael Lehner said: "These tests were undertaken ... with a number of possibilities of blood contamination, of mixing up samples and other circumstances which could have distorted the result." The 27-year-old Schumacher is one of four riders to have failed drugs tests at this year's Tour de France.

2010 Tour de France starts in Rotterdam

The 2010 Tour de France will open with a nine kilometer individual time trial through the streets of Rotterdam, race director Christian Prudhomme announced in Rotterdam on Thursday. It will be the first time that the Tour will have started from the Dutch port city, but four other cities in the country — Amsterdam (1954), Scheveningen (1973), Leiden (1978) and 's-Hertogenbosch 1996) have previously enjoyed the honor. The 2009 race kicks off from Monaco.

Luxembourg anti-doping authorities will not pursue charges against Fränk Schleck.

Luxembourg's anti-doping agency will not open a disciplinary case against Fränk Schleck, who said he transferred nearly 7000 euros in March 2006 into an account belonging to Eufemiano Fuentes, the alleged ringleader of the Operación Puerto doping ring. According to European news reports and a press release from Schleck's Saxo Bank team, the agency found no evidence of actual doping violations and has decided to close the case.

Landis drops suit

Floyd Landis has dropped his federal lawsuit against the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, according to documents signed by both parties on Thursday. Landis had sued earlier in September, seeking to overturn his two-year suspension for doping at the Tour de France and a $100,000 penalty imposed by the International Court of Arbitration for Sport in June. Landis charged that all three members of the appeals panel had conflicts of interest that would have precluded a fair hearing in the matter. Those conflicts, Landis charged, went unreported by each of the three.

Armstrong, Contador to train together Thursday

Alberto Contador and Lance Armstrong will train together for the first time on Thursday, their Astana team said. On Tuesday, the two former Tour de France champs trained in separate groups in a session that began on Sunday on the island of Tenerife. "We have groups each day, one with the best prepared cyclists and the other with the least prepared," an Astana spokesman said. The two are to train together "in theory” on Thursday.

Schumacher denies doping, threatens suit

Former Gerolsteiner rider Stefan Schumacher, who failed a doping test at the Tour de France, said Thursday he will sue the French anti-doping authorities (AFLD) for defamation. "I have been judged and pilloried," Schumacher, who has always denied doping, wrote on his Web site. "My conscience is clear." "I don't want to stop here and I will not stop here," Schumacher added. "The people who have always believed in me and continue to do so and don't deserve this." Schumacher is one of four riders to have failed a test for the new EPO variant known as CERA at this year's Tour de France.

France bans Beltran over Tour positive

Spanish cyclist Manuel Beltran has been banned from racing in France for two years after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO at this year's Tour de France. France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD) made the announcement Tuesday.