Cycling: TVM team's riders `took drug cocktails'

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The Independent Online
THE TEAM leader, Jeroen Blijlevens, and the other eight riders in Dutch outfit TVM tested positive for drugs during the Tour de France, French court sources said yesterday.

The findings are in a 200-page report sent to the judge handling the TVM case in Reims by doctors from an Albertville hospital, where blood tests were performed on the riders on 28 July.

Every rider tested positive for several banned substances including steroids and growth hormones. At least four used erythropoietin (EPO), which enhances the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood. Three others were declared positive for amphetamines and a fourth for cannabis. The report said the riders used powerful "home- made cocktails" of banned substances.

A prosecutor said last week that the TVM doctor, Andrei Mikhailov, who has been under preventive arrest since 27 July, would not be freed in the near future. The team's sporting director, Cess Priem, and its masseur, Jan Moors, are no longer being held, but are confined to the area of Marne. Mikhailov confessed to having arranged provision of 104 EPO doses which police discovered in the trunk of a team car.

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