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Chronology of 1998 Tour de France drug scandal

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Posted: Tuesday September 22, 1998 04:19 PM

PARIS (CNN/SI) -- A chronicle of the drug scandal surrounding the 1998 Tour de France.

July 8 - A masseur for the Festina team, Willy Voet, is stopped at the Franco-Belgium border. His car is found to contain more than 400 doping products, including EPO, a drug that increases oxygen in red blood cells.

July 10 - A court in the city of Lille puts Voet under formal investigation - one step short of being charged.

July 11 - Tour de France begins

July 14 - Voet changes his story and admits the doping products were for team use, not his own.

July 15 - Festina director Bruno Roussel and team doctor Eric Ryckaert are detained and questioned by police.

July 16 - International Cycling Union (UCI) suspends Roussel.

July 17 - Roussel admits he systematically supplied illegal drugs to the team to improve performances under strict medical control. Roussel and Ryckaert are placed under formal investigation and detained. The tour director Jean-Marie Leblanc expels the Festina team.

July 21 - Ryckaert's lawyer says there was a system of funding illegal drugs through team members' winnings.

July 23 - Under questioning, five Festina riders admit taking drugs. The Dutch TVM team comes under the spotlight too, and its team director and doctor are detained and questioned.

July 24 - Roussel, Ryckaert and Voet meet in a Lille court. At the start of the 12th stage, the remaining Tour riders protest, delaying the start two hours.

July 28 - Police search hotel rooms of team members. Riders for TVM are taken to the hospital and given lengthy medical tests including the taking of blood, urine and hair samples.

July 29 - The remaining Tour riders stop the stage to Aix-les-Bains twice to protest the treatment of TVM. Three teams drop out of the race. The Tour decides to annul he stage. A rider from Casino, Rodolfo Massi, is detained by police for questioning along with ONCE team doctor Nicolas Terrados.

July 30 - Two more teams drop out along with some individuals, including former world champion Luc Leblanc. Massi, who was the leading mountain climber in the Tor, does not start in the 18th stage, the first time a rider is barred from competing due to police questioning.

July 31 - Massi and Terrados are placed under formal investigation. The remaining riders of the TVM team drop out. There are 14 teams left from the original 21, and less than 100 riders from the original 189.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.