Cycling: Two suspended in doping scandal

THE COFIDIS cycling team suspended riders Philippe Gaumont and Frank Vandenbroucke yesterday after they became involved in police investigations into the use of illegal drugs.

The team said in a statement that Gaumont, a Frenchman, and Vandenbroucke, a Belgian, would not be allowed to compete until all the facts were known about the latest doping scandal to hit French cycling.

Gaumont is suspected of having used banned substances and was conditionally released on Sunday. Vandenbroucke, leader of the World Cup after his victory in the Liege-Bastogne-Liege classic last month, was held for questioning by French police on Friday.

A large operation was carried out by the French drug squad on Thursday and Friday in the Paris region and Normandy. Fifteen people were questioned by police.

Hein Verbruggen, head of the International Cycling Union, was also being questioned yesterday by French investigators probing the use of performance-enhancing drugs by members of the disgraced Festina team.