Shop Fantasy Central Golf Guide Email Travel Subscribe SI About Us Cycling

soccer S
golf plus S
tennis S
baseball S
hockey S
formula one
olympic sports
women's sports
more sports

 Sportsman of the Year
 Heisman Trophy
 Swimsuit 2001

 Fantasy Central
 Inside Game
 Multimedia Central
 Your Turn
 Message Boards
 Email Newsletters
 Golf Guide
 Work in Sports GROUP
 Sports Illustrated
 Life of Reilly
 SI Women
 SI for Kids
 Press Room
 TBS/TNT Sports
 CNN Languages

 SI Customer Service
 SI Media Kits
 Get into College
 Sports Memorabilia

US Postal drugs probe

French 'preliminary inquiry' into Armstrong's team

Click here for more on this story
Posted: Tuesday November 07, 2000 8:20 AM
Updated: Tuesday November 07, 2000 12:47 PM

  Lance Armstrong Lance Armstrong's US Postal team has attracted the attention of the Paris prosecutor's office AP

PARIS (AP) -- Acting on an anonymous tip, the Paris prosecutor's office has opened an investigation into the possible alleged use of banned substances during this year's Tour de France by the US Postal Service cycling team, headed by two-time Tour winner Lance Armstrong, judicial sources said Tuesday.

The investigation was opened on October 18, and is being carried out by the Paris police's anti-drug squad, according to the sources, speaking on customary condition of anonymity.

The sources were confirming a report in Tuesday's edition of the newspaper Le Monde.

The daily said the investigation was triggered by an anonymous letter sent to the prosecutor's office and claiming that suspect behavior apparently linked to the American team had been detected by a crew from the state-run France 3 TV station during the Tour.

Armstrong won the 2000 Tour, held in July, for the second straight year. The Texan, who made a spectacular recovery from testicular cancer, has been hounded by allegations that he used performance-enhancing drugs.

Armstrong has repeatedly denied such claims.

The Judicial sources said that some reporters from France 3 had been among those questioned in the French investigation which parallels a high-profile doping trial ending Tuesday in the city of Lille. The trial of 10 people grew out of the doping scandal that rocked the 1998 Tour de France, beginning with the expulsion of the Festina team.

France 3 Managing Editor Herve Brusini told Le Monde that the TV crew had noticed a "strange ballet" being performed on the sidelines of the US Postal team during the 2000 Tour. It included the coming and going of two men who loaded a large car with German license plates with plastic bags, then unloaded them in another spot.

Compresses, some packaging from foreign products and medicine were among the items found in the plastic bags, Le Monde wrote.

Tests on the bottles might determine whether their contents had included doping products.

US Postal Service sporting director Johan Bruyneel told The Associated Press that the team had not been informed by French officials about an investigation.

"I have not been approached by anyone about this, nor has anyone of the team in the United States," he said by telephone from his Spanish vacation home.

"Today is the first thing I hear about this, and it is through the media. I have no idea what it is about. I have heard that it concerns an anonymous letter," he said.

"Of course I continue to deny all doping allegations."

Revelations about extensive doping in the cycling world emerged during the two-week Festina trial. French cycling star Richard Virenque was among several who confessed to using doping products.

Related information
Heras plans to join Armstrong at US Postal
Prosecutor asks for Virenque not to be sentenced
Visit Multimedia Central for the latest audio and video
Search our site Watch CNN/SI 24 hours a day
Sports Illustrated and CNN have combined to form a 24 hour sports news and information channel. To receive CNN/SI at your home call your cable operator or DirecTV.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

CNNSI Copyright © 2001
CNN/Sports Illustrated
An AOL Time Warner Company.
All Rights Reserved.

Terms under which this service is provided to you.
Read our privacy guidelines.