January 13, 2004
French police raid Cofidis HQ
Police Monday raided the headquarters of the French Cofidis team of reigning world champions Igor Astarloa and David Millar. The squad's current trainer and one of its former team members, Marek Rutkiewicz, are suspected of operating a "vast" drug ring between Eastern Europe and the peloton, reports French daily L'Equipe.
Police stopped Rutkiewicz at de Gaulle airport in Paris on Tuesday, and reportedly found "doping paraphernalia" at the airport.
Apparently, police have also tapped the phone and searched the home of Cofidis trainer Bogdan Madejak.
Official reaction from Francis Van Londersele, the team's manager:
"I'm not worried," the team's manager, Francis Van Londersele, told L'Equipe, stressing that, even if the squad's trainer is in the crossfire, the formation's current stable of riders -- including world champs David Millar (time trial) and Igor Astarloa (road) -- is not.
"Rutkiewicz is no longer a part of this team," Londersele said of the Polish rider dismissed by Cofidis after the 2003 season. "We let him go because of his lack of results -- not for a question of doping."
Update: 5:10 p.m. EST -- BBC Sport reports the raid at Cofidis headquarters turned up nothing incriminating.
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference French police raid Cofidis HQ: