Former Astana team leader Alexandre Vinokourov is among three riders set to face criminal charges following the discovery of drugs at last year’s Tour de France, a report said on Friday.
According to Sud Ouest newspaper Vinokourov, kicked off last year’s race along with his former team, will face the charges along with Spaniard Iban Mayo and Italian Cristian Moreni.
The police charges in the report relate to the discovery of banned substances, believed to have belonged to the riders’, at last year’s Tour when it passed through the city of Pau.
Contacted by AFP, the city prosecutor Erick Maurel said he would “neither confirm, nor deny” the report concerning the three riders, none of whom are competing at this year’s race.
According to the paper Vinokourov, who is based in France where he is set to open a training and health centre, is being charged with the “illegal use of banned substances or methods in a competition” – a crime in France – after bags of blood relating to the rider were found.
Three days after his positive test for blood doping at last year’s race, police raided Vinokourov’s hotel.
Mayo tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin) at the end of last year’s race but has since been cleared by the Spanish cycling federation.
The paper said Mayo will face charges of “acquiring and possession of doping substances”.
Moreni tested positive for testosterone, forcing his Cofidis team to depart the race early despite him admitting he had acted on his own. He has since been banned for two years.
Moreni will face similar charges to Mayo. The hotel where his team were staying last year near Pau was also raided by police when the news of his positive test was revealed.