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1998 Tour de France

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Slowdown mars 17th stage

Tour cyclists remove their jersey numbers in protest

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Posted: Wednesday July 29, 1998 09:59 AM

  Police raid the hotel room of the TVM riders AP

AIX-LES-BAINS, France (CNN/SI) -- The 17th stage of the Tour de France is continuing, but the tour's remaining 132 riders have removed their numbers from their jerseys in protest of a French police raid on the TVM team's hotel Tuesday and th e treatment that the cyclists received.

Wednesday's leg, which started in Albertville, had an inauspicious beginning when the cyclists rode slow in protest and then stopped altogether after the first 32 kilometers (20 miles).

Tuesday, four TVM riders and a team official were taken to a local hospital for blood, urine and capillary checks and were questioned.

French television showed pictures of cyclists and supporters milling around team cars in the middle of the road. Some cyclists were slowly moving forward, but others were sitting down by the side of the road in the shade.

The Tour has been under a cloud since the Festina team was expelled last week, after the team director admitted there was an or ganized doping ring in operation in the team.

Since then, the director and doctor of the TVM team have also been placed under investigation for breach of doping laws.  

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