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French court rejects request to release Edita Rumsas

The wife of Lampre’s Raimondas Rumsas lost another round in her ongoing legal battle to be released from prison as a court in Grenoble, France, rejected a request to end her detention that began when she was arrested for possession of drugs in July. Edita Rumsas, wife of the third-place finisher in this year’s Tour de France, has been held in custody at Bonneville women's prison for more than six weeks on suspicion of provoking, inciting and offering drugs for consumption. The 28-year-old mother-of-three was picked up in the French Alps on July 29 - the day the Tour finished - with

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By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002

The wife of Lampre’s Raimondas Rumsas lost another round in her ongoing legal battle to be released from prison as a court in Grenoble, France, rejected a request to end her detention that began when she was arrested for possession of drugs in July.

Edita Rumsas, wife of the third-place finisher in this year’s Tour de France, has been held in custody at Bonneville women’s prison for more than six weeks on suspicion of provoking, inciting and offering drugs for consumption. The 28-year-old mother-of-three was picked up in the French Alps on July 29 – the day the Tour finished – with large quantities of medication including corticoids, testosterone, EPO, growth hormones and anabolic steroids in her car.

Her husband, who has refused to return to France claiming that his wife is being used as bait to lure him back, claimed they were destined for his mother-in-law. The latest decision not to set her free came after a sustained campaign by her legal team to secure her release and indignation at the way she has been treated by the French authorities back in her home country of Lithuania.

“The decision given this time is the same as the last,” said Rumsas’s lawyer Veronique Coudray.

“That is to say the investigation is still ongoing with questioning of people vital to the case being conducted abroad, in addition to the court not being confident she would stay in the country if she were to be released.” It could harm Franco-Lithuanian relations as their foreign minister, Antanas Valionis, warned the day after she last lost her appeal on August 14.

Rumsas, whose Tour performance has come under suspicion as a result of his wife’s detention, has been suspended by his Italian team Lampre pending an investigation.

Two tests during the Tour de France failed to detect any doping substances in 30-year-old Rumsas’ bloodstream, and an independent test administered in the first week of August also showed he was clean.