Cycling: Police may be called in to stop drug cheats

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The Independent Online

Police and hidden cameras could be used to crack down on doping in cycling, the International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said yesterday.

McQuaid said he would conduct a full audit of the sport after the Tour de France winner Floyd Landis tested positive for elevated levels of testosterone.

"We will look at all aspects, the competition, events, calendar, teams and the management of teams," McQuaid said. "If we can do that, we will regain some ground and credibility."

He added that he wanted the public to know that athletes did not take drugs because of the sport, but "because they are selfish and are prepared to cheat."

He said: "In this type of investigation authorities like the police can go a lot further than a sporting authority. They can put in hidden cameras and the like to crack a network, a drugs supply ring. Of course, it is sad it has come to this but it is the way it has to be."

Cycling attempted to get back to normal in the wake of the Landis affair yesterday, with three-time world champion Oscar Freire winning the Cyclassics race in a three-rider sprint to the finish.

The Spanish rider for Rabobank captured his 48th race by covering the 243.2km through Hamburg in 5 hours, 30.02 seconds on a hot day. All the top 35 finishers shared the same time.

Freire caught second-place Erik Zabel of Milran and Filippo Pozzato of Quick Step at the finish line as the trio pulled away from the pack over the last few hundred meters.

"I thought I wouldn't catch Zabel," Freire said. "Some people slapped me on the back, some said Zabel had won - I had to wait for the photo finish."

The UCI sprang unannounced doping controls on 40 riders. All tests proved negative, officials said. Spain's Alejandro Valverde still leads the ProTour after 18 events despite missing the race after breaking a bone at the Tour de France.

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