CYCLING: Double for Dutch sprinter

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JEROEN BLIJLEVENS had the edge in a sprint finish in Murcia yesterday to claim his second stage win in the Tour of Spain.

The Dutchman pipped Giovanni Lombardi, the Italian finishing second for the third time in four days, with Germany's Sven Teutenberg third in the 165.5km (103 miles) stage from Olula del Rio.

The stage came down to a sprint finish after several breaks were thwarted. The best came early, Italy's Elio Aggiano escaping after 8km and opening a lead of one and a half minutes before being overhauled.

The continuing drug scandal plaguing the sport claimed another victim yesterday, when France's Philippe Gaumont was pulled out of the Tour of Spain by his team, Cofidis, after reportedly testing positive for the steroid nandrolone. Frenchman Philippe Gaumont failed a test in May but will not be punished because of differing doping rules.

The French federation said the Cofidis rider had a level of nandrolone exceeding the limit considered by most federations and by the International Olympic Committee as revealing drug taking. But the International Cycling Union (UCI) tolerates a higher level of nandrolone. As a result, Gaumont was not even told of the result of the test.

Blijlevens, who won at Cadiz on Monday, did nothing to disturb the leader, Fabrizio Guidi. The Italian still leads overall by two seconds from the 1995 winner, Laurent Jalabert of France.