Cycling: TVM riders questioned by police

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FALL-OUT FROM the Tour de France, which ended on Sunday, continued yesterday as a French judge placed a TVM masseur under formal investigation and police questioned 14 of the Dutch team's riders and officials as the probe into doping gathered momentum.

Johannes Moors was detained on suspicion of possessing harmful substances and breaking France's anti-doping and customs laws. TVM's director, Cees Priem, and doctor, Andrei Mikhailov, were placed in custody last week for the same reason.

Reims police are questioning six riders from the TVM team - Jeroen Blijlevens, Steven De Jongh, Servais Knaven, Bart Voskamp, Sergei Ivanov and Sergei Outschankov. Jan Van Het Hoge, the team's cook, said the riders "are all very at ease and don't think they will be put under official examination because they are innocent. I hope we can go back to the Netherlands quickly."

Riders from the Casino and ONCE teams are also expected to be called in for questioning, judicial sources said.

Under the current doping law in France, riders are not prosecuted unless they have contributed to a fund for the purchase of performance-enhancing drugs, or sell them to other riders.

Tour of shame, page 20