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The vicious cycle of doping continues

French competitor caught with performance enhancing substances after surprise police raid after ninth stage.

other Updated: Jul 10, 2012 22:32 IST

Tour de France team Cofidis have suspended Frenchman Remy Di Gregorio over doping allegations, the team announced on the race's first rest day Tuesday.

Di Gregorio was arrested following a police raid at his team's hotel in Bourg-en-Bresse, several miles outside Macon in eastern France where the race will resume on the 10th stage Wednesday.

A team statement said: "We have just learned that one of our riders, competing at the Tour de France, has attempted to resort to doping substances to improve his performance.

"At the current time, we have very little information about the facts of the case.

"However the suspicion on the rider concerned, Remy di Gregorio, leaves us with no choice but to hand down the strictest possible sanctions.

"Remy di Gregorio is therefore immediately suspended, provisionally, while we await more ample information on the case.

"If the suspicions are confirmed, he will be sacked on the spot -- in accordance with the stipulations in his contrat and in line with the ethical policy of the team."

Tour enters crucial phase in the alps

Macon, France: For defending champion Cadel Evans, the first 'hors categorie' climb of this year's Tour de France could not come at a better time.

Two days after losing nearly two minutes to British rival Bradley Wiggins in the ninth stage time trial, it is the Australian's first chance to start his campaign to win back the yellow jersey.

Stage 10 is the first of two consecutive days in the high Alps and the ascent of the Col du Grand Colombier comes a day after the Tour's first rest day. Included recently on the Criterium du Dauphine stage race won by Wiggins, it is expected to be a decisive feature on the 194.5 km ride.

First Published: Jul 10, 2012 22:30 IST