Cycling's governing body UCI said Wednesday that it has asked for probes to be carried out on four riders who have been accused by disgraced US cyclist Floyd Landis for doping.
"The International Cycling Union (UCI) has confirmed that it yesterday morning requested the relevant National Federations to carry out inquiries of the accusations made by Mr Floyd Landis against their licence-holders," said the UCI in a statement.
The cyclists and managers to come under investigation are Australia's Matthew White, Belgium's Johan Bruyneel, Canada's Michael Barry and Belgium's John Lelangue (who will be investigated by the French Cycling Federation).
"The UCI's request is aimed at establishing, in an objective manner, whether or not events potentially constituting a breach of the Anti-Doping Rules occurred," it said.
An enquiry has already been launched by the US Anti-Doping Agency against Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Jim Ochowicz and David Zabriskie, who were all accused by Landis.
Landis, who was stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for synthetic testosterone, created a sensation last week when he admitted after years of denials that he had used performance-enhancing drugs throughout his career.
In coming clean, Landis also accused a bevy of other top riders - including former teammate Armstrong - as well as others involved in the sport.
Armstrong's RadioShack team, which has already denounced Landis' allegations, posted a statement on their website responding to the call for further investigation.
"We understand that responsible anti-doping organizations and governmental agencies have an obligation to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, even when those allegations are baseless, incredible, and made by people with improper motives," the statement posted on the team's website said.
"At the same time, much of what has been reported in the press is false, sensational and unprofessional.
"If any governmental or anti-doping organizations conduct a proper investigation, Lance looks forward to once again being totally vindicated after a fair investigation."
© AFP 2010