By Andrew Hood
Cofidis’s Philippe Gaumont has, during police interrogation, admitted taking the banned substance EPO and admitted that he had supplied EPO to another cyclist, the AFP reported.
“Philippe Gaumont has admitted to doping,” said his lawyer Olivier Combe on Monday. “He also explained some unfortunate things that are happening in the (cycling) system.”
“I have admitted to taking illegal substances. What cyclist could say anything to the contrary?” the 30-year-old Gaumont told French police.
Police have questioned several riders from the Cofidis team and have seized human growth hormones, amphetamines and EPO.
Gaumont, an Olympic bronze-medal winner in the 1992 team time trial, said he had never been asked or instructed to take performance enhancers.
But he described how “everything is put in place to encourage” their use, said Combe. The lawyer said Gaumont also told investigators that he had given EPO to a fellow rider, who was not identified, to “help him out.”
Gaumont, who rode for Cofidis in the 2003 Tour de France, was detained last Tuesday with teammate Cedric Vasseur as they returned to Paris from a training session in southern Spain. Vasseur was not charged and his lawyer, Bertrand Wambeke, said on Monday that Vasseur had not admitted to using doping products.
Vandenbroucke faces trial
The case of former Belgian national champion Frank Vandenbroucke was sent to trial Tuesday for possession of prohibited substances.
The case stems from a 2002 police raid of Vandenbrouck’s home, triggered by the arrest of his alleged supplier. Vandenbroucke’s lawyers said the rider would almost certainly appeal.
Police seized quantities of EPO, the veterinary drug Clenbuterol and morphine when they raided his house in 2002.
Euskaltel signs final rider
Euskaltel-Euskadi has completed its roster of 25 riders Monday after signing Basque rider Joseba Albizu. The second-year pro was waiting for paperwork to get settled from his former team Mercatone Uno, where he made his professional debut last season. Domina Vacanze presentation Friday
Former world champion Mario Cipollini will meet the world’s press Friday as Domina Vacanze holds its team presentation near Lake Como north of Milan. Cipollini will focus on the Giro d’Italia as well as the Summer Olympic Games, where he hopes to race on the track.