Cycling: Virenque in drugs confession

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RICHARD VIRENQUE, the leading French rider now with the Italian team Polti, last night admitted being supplied with performance-enhancing drugs. His confession came only hours after police in Paris revealed that they had heard him asking for drugs - after tapping the telephone of a lawyer suspected of supplying riders with banned substances.

French police claim that the lawyer, Bertrand Lavelot, is one of the principal suppliers of drugs. The other is alleged to be the thoroughbred horse breeder and former amateur cyclist Bernard Sainz, who, along with Lavelot, was remanded in custody on Sunday.

Virenque had denied taking drugs following the Tour de France scandal last year when his Festina team were ejected.