Cycling: Gaumont admits using and distributing EPO

A second cyclist from Cofidis, the team Britain's leading rider, David Millar, rides for, has now admitted to using the performance-enhancing drug EPO.

Already implicated in doping affairs in the past, the French rider Philippe Gaumont confessed yesterday to using EPO. He has also said he gave the same drug to another, as yet unspecified, rider.

With Gaumont currently under investigation by French police for providing illegal drugs to other professional riders, his lawyer, Oliver Combe, said that the rider "has admitted to doping and has also explained some unfortunate things that are happening in cycling".

Gaumont was arrested and later released last week with his team-mate Cedric Vasseur as part of a continuing investigation into a drugs ring which first made the news when a former rider for Cofidis, the Pole Marek Rutkiewicz, was arrested at Orly airport carrying suspicious substances.

A masseur from Cofidis, Bogdan Madejak, was then detained as the suspected head of the drugs ring. Another former Confidis rider, Robert Sassone, confessed to using EPO after police searched his house in South-east France.

Police have stated that neither Millar nor his fellow world champion Igor Astarloa, who also rides for Cofidis, are involved in the affair.

Alasdair Fotheringham writes for Cycling Weekly

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