Spanish cyclist Moises Duenas, who was kicked out of the Tour de France after failing a drugs test, Thursday denied knowingly taking any banned substance during the race.
Duenas was charged last week in France with "use and possession of plants and poisonous substances", and dropped by his British-registered team Barloworld. He risks a two-year jail term and a 3,750-euro fine.
"At no time have I ever declared or admitted that I took drugs, as some media have stated, and neither have I said or admitted that I bought banned substances for doping," he said in a statement released by the Spanish media.
The public prosecutor in the southwestern French town of Tarbes said earlier Thursday that Duenas "has admitted having bought and used products that improve performances, at the instigation of doctors on his team. He said he was unaware of the composition of these products, which he took himself, orally or intravenously."
The Spanish newspaper El Pais said Duenas had also declared that the products in question had been supplied by his Spanish doctor, Jesus Losa. Losa however denied having "ever supplied banned products to Duenas."
Duenas is one of three cyclists accused of doping offenses since the start of this year's Tour de France, along with another Spaniard, Manuel Beltran of the Liquigas team, and an Italian, Riccardo Riccò, from Spain's Saunier-Duval team.
© BikeRadar & AFP 2008