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French cycling discusses broadening drug war

Representatives of French cycling, which has been rocked recently by the Cofidis doping affair, have agreed that doping testers should be allowed to carry out random controls at riders' homes. Random dope testing at athletes' homes is against the law in France – however, since the Cofidis affair exploded in January, a number of top riders have spoken out about the need for harsh measures. A roundtable meeting held in Paris Friday brought together the management of top teams, the French cycling federation, riders and race organizers in a bid to thrash out the possible solutions to the

By AFP

Representatives of French cycling, which has been rocked recently by the Cofidis doping affair, have agreed that doping testers should be allowed to carry out random controls at riders’ homes.

Random dope testing at athletes’ homes is against the law in France – however, since the Cofidis affair exploded in January, a number of top riders have spoken out about the need for harsh measures.

A roundtable meeting held in Paris Friday brought together the management of top teams, the French cycling federation, riders and race organizers in a bid to thrash out the possible solutions to the latest controversy.

The outcome was unanimous agreement that doping controllers should be allowed to visit riders at any time, and that team training camps should also be held in France to allow testers easier access to teams.

“The French riders met last week in Rennes and said they were in favor of allowing random doping controls to be carried out at their homes,” said FFC president Jean Pitallier, who instigated Friday’s meeting.

Pitallier added that the majority of riders were in favor of introducing harsher measures for drug cheats. Most of those present agreed in principle on reinforcing the rules regarding riders’ medical log books, which list all the drugs and medicines a given rider is allowed to take.

However. Philippe Raimbaud, the director of the French La Boulangere team, said increased vigilance would demand would a three-pronged effort from those involved: “from the minister to reinforce random checks, from the teams to supply all the elements which allow the random checks to take place, and from the riders who are involved to make themselves available.” –Copyright 2004/AFP