Mysterious ampule triggers investigation
By VeloNews Interactive wire services , Copyright AFP2002
Police on Thursday hauled off all six Mapei riders competing in the Tour of Belgium to be tested for banned products in Knokke-Heist, Belgium, after a suspect ampule was discovered in one of the riders bags on Wednesday.
The detentions come hard on the heels of another drug scandal for Mapei after Stefano Garzelli was thrown out of the Giro d’Italia on Tuesday after testing positive for the banned diuretic Probenecid. The swoop took place as the riders crossed the finishing line of the first stage of the Belgian.
The six riders are Italian Eddy Ratti, who discovered the suspect product in his bag on Wednesday night, Belgians Tom Steels and Fabien De Waele, Spaniard David Canada, Austrian Gerhard Trampusch and Britain’s Charles Wegelius.
Ratti found the ampule and alerted his team doctor, Theo Lebon.Lebon destroyed the ampule so as not to get embroiled in a scandal after confirming that the ampule contained a growth hormone.
The team’s sports director for the tour, Eric Vanderaerden, informed police when he learned of the development and the entire team stayed up until three in the morning discussing the matter.Copyright AFP2002>