'Nothing To Hide': Tour de France Team Leader Quintana Denies Doping

Chasing The Pros: Roglic/Bernal?

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The lead rider of a Tour de France team caught up in a doping investigation said he had "nothing to hide" after two unnamed members of the French outfit were briefly detained before being released.

Colombian rider Nairo Quintana, 30, leader of the Arkea-Samsic team and winner of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, said no drugs were discovered during the investigation.

"No doping substance has ever been found," Quintana said in a statement late on Tuesday.

"I have nothing to hide and have never had anything to hide."

Police detained two people from the Arkea-Samsic team on Monday, with press reports saying they were a doctor and physiotherapist.

Marseille prosecutor Dominique Laurens confirmed Wednesday that the pair, whom he had said had "many health products including drugs in their personal belongings, but also and above all a method that can be qualified as doping", had both been released Tuesday.

"The investigation is ongoing," Laurens said, adding that new developments were possible.

"Investigations and hearings (must) be carried out before the public prosecutor reaches a decision on the basis of the elements collected."

A source familiar with the matter told AFP that searches had targeted several riders including Quintana's brother Dayer, as well as members of the medical team.

Nairo Quintana finished the Tour in 17th place, more than an hour behind Pogacar. Quintana's teammate Warren Barguil finished in 14th place.

It is the most significant investigation in years for the repeatedly scandal-hit Tour, which wrapped up Sunday in Paris with a surprise victory for 21-year-old debutant Tadej Pogacar, the youngest winner in more than a century.

The Tour was rocked by a major probe in 1998, when customs officials stopped a vehicle laden with doping products and the Festina team was thrown off the race as the peloton headed into Paris.

Most notoriously, Lance Armstrong, who won from 1999-2005, admitted doping in 2013 and the American was stripped of his record seven titles.

Huge disappointment

The French team's general manager Emmanuel Hubert told AFP the probe involved only "a very limited number of riders, as well as their close entourage who are not employed by the team".

"But if it turned out that at the end of the current investigation, elements came to confirm the truth of doping practices, the team would immediately dissociate itself from such acts and would take the necessary measures without delay," Hubert said.

He added that the investigation "does not target the team or its staff directly".

The probe will have come as a huge disappointment to organisers after positive headlines about the against-the-odds organisation of the race and the drama that saw Pogacar seize victory late in the race.

Many had predicted the Covid-19 pandemic would prevent the riders making it the 3,400 kilometres (2,100 miles) from the Mediterranean city of Nice to the French capital.

The prosecutor's statement said the investigation was focused on the prescription of a substance or banned method for athletes, as well as help and encouragement in its use.

The charges can lead to up to five years in prison and a 75,000-euro ($88,000) fine.

Fernando Gaviria Out Of Giro After Positive Covid-19 Test

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Colombian sprinter Fernando Gaviria has tested positive for Covid-19 at the Giro d'Italia and has withdrawn from the race, his UAE Emirates team announced on Tuesday.

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Almeida Survives Pink Jersey Scare As Geoghegan Hart Wins Giro Stage 15

Stage 15 winner

Portuguese pink jersey wearer Joao Almeida survived a stiff challenge to his overall race lead from Dutch title rival Wilco Kelderman who closed in on the leader after Sunday's Giro d'Italia 15th stage.

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Van der Poel Follows Father in Flanders, Alaphilippe Crashes Into Motorbike

van der Poel Tour of Flanders

Mathieu van der Poel took the Tour of Flanders honors on Sunday for his first win in one of cycling's so-called Monuments marked by world champion Julian Alaphilippe's heavy fall after colliding with a motorbike.

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Ganna Tops Time Trials In Stage 14 of Giro d'Italia

Replay: Giro d'Italia Stage 14

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Italy's world time-trial champion Filippo Ganna continued his sparkling form on Saturday by winning the 14th stage of the Giro d'Italia, while Joao Almeida tightened his grip on the leader's pink jersey.

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Italy's Diego Ulissi Wins Giro 13th Stage, Almeida Remains In Pink

Replay: Giro d'Italia Stage 13

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Italy's Diego Ulissi won the 13th stage of the Giro d'Italia on Friday as Joao Almeida retained the race leader's pink jersey ahead of a crucial time trial that the Portuguese rider admitted will be "difficult".

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Jhonatan Narvaez Wins Giro d'Italia 12th Stage, Almeida Stays In Pink

Replay: Giro d'Italia Stage 12

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Ecuador's Jhonatan Narvaez gave the Ineos team their third stage win in this year's Giro d'Italia, crossing the line alone on a wet stage 12 at Cesenatico on Thursday.

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Arnaud Demare Gets Fourth Win In Stage 11 At Giro d'Italia

Arnaud Demare 2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 11

Frenchman Arnaud Demare powered to his fourth victory in this year's Giro d'Italia, winning a frenetic stage 11 finish in the seaside town of Rimini on Wednesday.

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Sagan Goes It Alone To Win Giro 10th Stage

Peter Sagan 2020 Giro d'Italia Stage 10

Peter Sagan soloed to victory in the Giro d'Italia's 10th stage on Tuesday after two teams, Mitchelton and Jumbo-Visma, were forced to pull out before the stage because of positive COVID-19 tests.

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Kruijswijk, Matthews, And Mitchelton-Scott Team Abandon Giro d'Italia

Will The Giro Make It To Milan?

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Multiple riders and staff have tested positive for COVID-19 the UCI and RCS Sport announced in a joint press release. The tests were the first round, conducted during the rest day, in addition to the multiple safety measures the Giro d’Italia have had in place since the depart in Sicily. Mitchelton-Scott was the worst hit, with several staff members returning positive tests after their GC hopeful, Simon Yates, tested positive several days into the first week. The team released a statement soon after. 

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Portuguese Double As Guerreiro Wins Giro Ninth Stage

Ruben Guerreiro

Portugal's Ruben Guerreiro of Education First won Sunday's 208km ninth stage of the Giro d'Italia from San Salvo to Roccaraso with compatriot Joao Almeida holding the overall leader's pink jersey.

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