The Cofidis squad will return to the peloton in this weekend's Spanish races less than two weeks after withdrawing from the Tour de France on July 25th following the doping positive of its rider Cristian Moreni. The team issued a statement on its website, www.equipe-cofidis.com, saying that the suspension of the team was only temporary, and that leaving the Tour was necessary in order to send a strong message to the riders in light of "inadmissible behaviour".
The statement continued, "This withdrawal also allowed the sponsor Cofidis time to analyse the situation and to come to conclusions on the future of the team." Confident that the positive control for testosterone was the result an "intolerable, but individual and isolated from doping," the team committed to forging ahead with reinforced measures to prevent doping.
The team has been actively fighting doping by its riders since the eruption of the case that was labelled 'the Cofidis affair', much to the chagrin of its sponsor. What began with a former team member being caught with banned doping products at a Paris airport ended in a length court case that finally concluded in late 2006. The team vowed not to give up its long fight "against this plague" and wants to return to competition to avoid penalising innocent riders for the actions of one.