Three Ukrainian riders, who participated in the Tour de l’Avenir, have been indicted for possession and use of doping products a court official in Besan reported on Monday.
The three were arrested Saturday and later acknowledged having used seized equipment for blood transfusions, said deputy prosecutor Margaret Parietti. The three were indicted on Sunday evening and have been released on bail.
The riders were competing in the Tour de l’Avenir, a French stage race that features young riders and is contested by national teams.
In addition to the riders, the team’s soigneur and another team official were arrested and charged with possession, transportation and use of medical products for illegal purposes. The soigneur was also charged with the illegal practice of medicine.
The investigation was triggered on Friday when customs officials in Saint-Sauveur searched a vehicle driven by the soigneur and found “suspect products” and syringes. The soigneur and another man in the vehicle were both arrested. The three riders later acknowledged relying on blood transfusions during the race.
All six members of the Ukrainian national team withdrew from the Tour before Saturday’s stage and all of them have been subject to a doping investigation.
However, a prosecutor’s spokesman noted that “there is nothing to say that the whole team is involved. For now, the investigation is geared more towards individuals.”
All five of those indicted were released under court supervision and are obliged to appear before an investigating magistrate when summoned.