Banesto named in drug case

A FORMER rider for the Banesto team told a court in Lille, France, yesterday that there was medically supervised doping of the team's cyclists, including use of the banned drug EPO.

A FORMER rider for the Banesto team told a court in Lille, France, yesterday that there was medically supervised doping of the team's cyclists, including use of the banned drug EPO.

The testimony came on the fourth day of a trial that grew out of the drug scandal that nearly wrecked the 1998 Tour de France. The former Festina cyclist, Richard Virenque, and nine former team officials are on trial on a range of charges.

The trial, which opened on Monday, has led to testimony about systematic doping of leading Festina riders. Now come the allegations that the Spanish Banesto team also used banned products to enhance cyclists' performance.

"In Banesto, there was a system of doping with medical supervision," Thomas Davy, who rode with Banesto from 1995 to 1996, told the court.

Banesto's champion rider, Miguel Indurain, rode the team to five Tour de France victories, from 1991 to 1995.

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