In today’s entry in his Procycling blog, Daniel Friebe discusses the varying angles taken by the French press on the latest doping scandal to hit Le Tour, examines the rumours dogging Riccardo Riccò, and muses on the double-edged meaning of the phrase “I’m doping free”.
“It was interesting to see what contrasting coverage the French press gave to the Manuel Beltran fallout this morning. The French sports fans’ bible L’Equipe seems determined to dismiss the Spaniard’s positive test on Friday as a trifling inconvenience, while the Journal du Dimanche maxed out with a full-page doping splash featuring stories on the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), Riccardo Riccò and Christophe Moreau.
The press room was humming with rumours about Riccò yesterday. Libération had already reported that the Italian has faced four tests since the race left Brest, suggesting that The Cobra was one of up to 20 riders the AFLD had placed under special surveillance. This morning in Toulouse, Riccò’s directeur sportif, “Matxin” Fernandez, confirmed to me that his rider had indeed been tested four times, but also wanted to put those tests into context. “He was tested once before the race left Brest, like everyone else, then once along with the rest of the team on the morning of the second stage, then once because he was randomly selected after the time trial in Cholet, and once after he won the stage in Super Besse,” Matxin explained.”
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