Prison call for 'cowardly' Rumsas

The prosecution in the French trial of Raimondas and Edita Rumsas has asked for suspended sentences

The prosecution in the French trial of Raimondas and Edita Rumsas has asked for suspended sentences


The prosecutor in the trial against husband and wife team Raimondas and Edita Rumsas has asked for suspended prison sentences to be imposed on the pair, who face charges of importation of products that could be used for doping. Prosecutor Vincent Le Pannerer also branded former Lampre rider Rumsas "cowardly" for refusing to return to France after in late July 2002 after his wife had been found at the French border to be carrying a variety of medical products in her car.

Le Pannerer asked for a suspended sentence of eight months to be imposed on Rumsas and a six-month suspended sentence for his wife. The case has been adjourned until January 26, when the verdict is due to be announced.

The prosecutor asked for a custodial sentence to be imposed on Dr Krzysztof Ficek, who wrote the prescriptions for the medical products that had been imported into France from the Rumsas's home country of Lithuania. Dr Ficek is still being sought to answer the charges he faces in Bonneville.

Among the products Edita Rumsas was found to be transporting was the blood-booster EPO. The seizure took place on the same day that her husband was finishing third in the Tour de France behind Lance Armstrong and Joseba Beloki. While she was held in custody by the French authorities for 75 days, her husband refused to return to France from their home in Italy.

Explaining his request for a lesser sentence for Edita Rumsas, Le Pannerer said "madame faced up to things, monsieur just hid away. She was brave, he was cowardly".

However, Mrs Rumsas was criticised for the many contradictions in her explanations for the presence of the products in her car, initially stating they were for the treatment of family members, then saying she could not remember what they were for.

Rumsas, who was sacked by Lampre in June 2003 after testing positive for EPO at the Giro, denied being involved in doping.

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