BigMat's former doctor indicted over doping

Thu, 01 Dec 18:46:00 2011

Former BigMat-Auber doctor Philippe Bedoucha was indicted by a judge on Thursday over accusations he gave the illegal bloodbooster EPO to his team, a prosecutor said.

BigMat Auber cycling jersey - 0

"The prosecutor's office opened an investigation and was heard in the afternoon by the judge who indicted him following the submissions of the prosecution," the prosecutor said.

The doctor is suspected of providing EPO to riders of the second-tier Continental team when he was doctor for the French outfit from 2007 to 2010. He has admitted the facts "up to a point," the prosecutor added.

Bedoucha faces six charges relating to the possession, acquisition, supply or transfer of prohibited substances or methods and an illegal practice of pharmacy.

The team "is not being challenged at all but the judge still has to continue his investigations", the prosecutor added.

Stephane Javalet, manager of the team, said in a statement that the investigation involved neither the riders nor the team but the prosecutor said three riders could be subject to a subsequent indictment.

Ex-BigMat rider Arnold Jeanneson said this week that he was questioned as a witness by police in the Paris suburbs but was angry his name was being dragged through the mud.

"I was heard because I was a rider of the team in 2008," the now FDJ rider told www.lequipe.fr.

"I could bring nothing to the inquiry. It upsets me because people are going to associate me with this. They are going to talk about this more than my 15th place in the Tour de France(this year)."

Cycling has long battled a doping problem although the number of positive tests has plummeted in the past year.

Reuters

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