Cycling: Only one Festina rider was `clean'

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ALL BUT one member of the Festina team, including the French cyclist Richard Virenque, took a doping agent to boost their performance in last year's Tour de France, according to excerpts from a medical report published yesterday in the sports daily L'Equipe.

The report confirmed that all the team's riders except Christophe Moreau showed evidence of EPO (erythropoietin), in blood samples taken during the Tour. EPO boosts oxygen levels in the blood.

Virenque, who was questioned on Monday for more than an hour by a French judge investigating the Tour doping scandal, has consistently denied he took performance-enhancing drugs.The Festina team, who admitted to widespread doping at the Tour and were expelled, dropped Virenque in November. He then signed for Polti.