PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM
Following Wednesday's raid on the Saunier Duval and Davitamon-Lotto hotel by the Italian anti-doping police, the NAS, the International Cycling Union (UCI) has said that nothing untoward was found in the search. The NAS took away a hypobaric chamber from Davitamon and some glucose supplements.
"The NAS took away an Altitrainer machine that isn't banned by the sporting authorities nor by the laws of the majority of countries, whose Olympic committees use them for training purposes, but whose use is not permitted in Italy," said the UCI statement. After reflecting on the need to harmonise regulations and laws such as these, the UCI added that "the NAS hasn't announced the discovery of anything prohibited."
Riders, teams and doctors at the Giro signed a communiqu condemning the removal of products that had been declared before the start of the race. This response fell well short of the full strike that Saunier Duval's riders had been hoping for from the Giro peloton. They arrived at yesterday's start in Marostica in casual clothes rather than racing kit with the intention of not starting, but were eventually persuaded to, although some of their riders left a minute or two after the main peloton.
Saunier's Ruben Lobato and Juan Manuel Garate toured around most of the teams before the start canvassing support for their plan. Riders such as Gilberto Simoni and Ivan Basso said they supported their cause, but would still be starting the stage. Even Davitamon refused to back Saunier's call for a strike. According to the Spanish press, former Saunier rider Joseba Beloki was the only team leader who was fully supportive of their planned protest.
Five Saunier riders were later fined 100 Swiss francs each for not signing on before the start, while Saunier doctor Maria Sagasti, who was detained by the NAS on Wednesday evening declared: "If we can't give them glucose, maybe we should give them kiwi fruit."
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM