Cycling: ICU to unveil drug strategy

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THE INTERNATIONAL Cycling Union, the sport's governing body, will today outline its report on combating drugs in the sport, after delaying the announcement by 24 hours. The ICU hopes the document will serve as a beginning from which the sport can recover after revelations of widespread drug misuse during the Tour de France. "It's a starting point for the future in the fight against drugs," an ICU spokesman, Enrico Carpani, said.

Elsewhere, however, the problems continued yesterday, as a dozen cyclists from the Big Mat team were interviewed by police in Lyons after a routine customs check during the Tour uncovered around 100 substances in the back of a team van.

Big Mat's team director, Stephane Javalet, insisted that the substances were legitimate "recuperative products".

It has also emerged that judicial authorities in Reims are to question 15 more cyclists from the Dutch team TVM, whose director and masseur were released from custody on Monday. Police originally seized substances from a TVM team car in March.

Neil Stephens, a long-time advocate of drug-free cycling who was interrogated during the Festina scandal in France, was today included in Australia's squad for the Commonwealth Games. The selection confirms that his national organisation believes that Stephens was wrongly implicated in the affair.

Three more Italian riders were expelled from the Tour of Portugal yesterday for doping, taking the number of disqualified Italians to seven. All are suspected of using the banned drug Erythropoietin, the same substance behind the scandals at the Tour de France.