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1998 Tour de France

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Team needs to recover

ONCE pulls out of 3 major French cycling events

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Posted: Wednesday September 02, 1998 07:58 PM

  Jalabert and the ONCE team pulled out of the Tour de France four days before the finish Alex Livesey/Allsport

MADRID, Spain (CNN/SI) -- The ONCE team which is based in Spain announced Tuesday that it has decided to pull out of the Limousin, Porvenir and the Paris-tours race.

The team is protesting the treatment that the Spanish riders received at this years Tour de France, a team source said.

"We are not going to participate in these three events in France because of what happened on the tour," the source said.

"Our riders are simply not ready to race again so soon afterwards. They have been greatly affected psychologically and are demoralized.

"It wouldn't be appropriate to race at the moment. The cyclists are not in a position to enjoy racing at this time."

ONCE pulled out of the Tour de France, which limped into Paris on Sunday after three weeks of drug scandals, four days before the finish in response to the treatment of its riders.

Police raided the ONCE hotel during the tour. The team are also angry that their doctor Nicolas Terrados has been placed under investigation on doping charges.

Terrados, backed up by the cycling director of the team Manuel Saiz, has insisted that drugs found by the police were normal medicines for use by non-racing members of the team.


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Reuters contributed to this report.