Shorts: Cofidis, Mayo, Kelme
Thursday, July 29, 2004 11.00pm
French police investigate Vasseur signature forgeries, Iban Mayo commits to the Vuelta, Kelme set fo
PICTURE BY TIM DE WAELE French police investigate forgeries Following Cdric Vasseur's revelation that two of the statements he allegedly made to the Nanterre doping inquiry bore forgeries of his signature, the French police are now investigating members of the inquiry team. Vasseur made four verbal statements to the police, and it is the two made on January 21 and 22 that are at the centre of this new investigation. The penalty for forgeries of this nature could be as much as 15 years in jail. Vasseur's lawyer, Bertrand Wambeke told French Info radio that Vasseur had "never seen, never read and never signed" the two statements. "They are clearly quite good copies. The people who signed in his place probably thought he would say nothing," said Wambeke. Meanwhile, Vasseur's former Cofidis team-mate and fellow accused in the Nanterre inquiry, Philippe Gaumont, has reiterated his accusations against former Cofidis team doctor Jean-Jacques Menuet. In an interview in today's Courrier Picard, Gaumont says of Menuet: "He presented himself as one of the defenders of the fight against doping, but the flip side was that he was doping riders. He organised everything that was going on in the team and ensured it scored UCI points." Asked about former team-mate David Millar, who has confessed to using EPO, Gaumont said: "He has been forced to confess. they found EPO in his home. The most important thing is that everything I have been saying is being proved right with time." Mayo and Zubeldia for Vuelta Iban Mayo may not have wanted to ride the Tour of Spain in September, but it seems almost certain that he and Haimar Zubeldia will lead Euskaltel's Vuelta team in five weeks. Following a meeting between the rider, Euskaltel directeur sportif Julian Gorospe and team boss Miguel Madariaga yesterday, Madariaga announced Mayo, who performed well below expectations at the Tour de France, had finally agreed to ride the Vuelta. Madariaga said of Mayo: "He is recovering from the problems that forced him to abandon the Tour. He is focusing on the Vuelta, although we can't say how he will be because there is a month still to go to the Tour and we don't know what his form will be like." Elche-Comunitat Valenciana? Negotiations between the management of the Comunitat Valenciana-Kelme team and Spain's Elche football club regarding a proposed takeover of the former by the latter are advancing well. Both sides have been giving positive signals to the Spanish media, and discussions have even touched on a name for the new squad: Elche-Comunitat Valenciana.
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