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Di Gregorio wins court case over Cofidis

By:
Jean-François Quénet
Published:
October 14, 2013, 19:32 BST,
Updated:
October 14, 2013, 20:32 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Race:
Tour de France
Rémy Di Grégorio at the courthouse in Marseille where he was questioned about alleged doping activities.

Rémy Di Grégorio at the courthouse in Marseille where he was questioned about alleged doping activities.

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French climber wants to come back in pro ranks

Rémi Di Gregorio has won his case against his former employer Cofidis before the labor relation board of Marseille that has ruled in the favor of the rider who was kicked out of the 2012 Tour de France for receiving a parcel containing a kit to inject glucose. The court stated it was a breach of contract as the stage winner of Paris-Nice in 2011 (with Astana) was firstly suspended and later fired by the Cofidis team.

Such a decision was highly expected, also by the management of Cofidis, after Di Gregorio was partially cleared by French justice on April 8 this year. Relation board often rules in favor of employees in France, unless there are strong evidences of wrongdoing. Judges considered that Cofidis hasn't demonstrated any strong offense made by Di Gregorio and has ruined his reputation.

"He might have increased his value during the Tour de France, had Cofidis supported him instead of taking action against him without any evidence as they tried to manage the media and the public opinion," wrote the court.

Cofidis has been sentenced to pay "significant damages" to Di Gregorio, according to the rider's lawyer Fabienne Bendayan-Chetrit, who agreed with her client to not disclose the amount. She added that negotiations were ongoing for a comeback in a French professional team.

Di Gregorio, 28, visited the Tour de France at the start of stage 6 in Aix-en-Provence to try and meet team managers and discuss his future. As he returned to racing with amateur club Team Martigues SC-Vivelo, he won the 2.2 Tour of Bulgaria in September.

Cyclingnews understands that Continental team La Pomme Marseille might be his next destination. This is the club of his town he rode for prior to turning professional with FDJ in 2005. A spot became available on the roster after Four Days of Dunkirk stage winner Yannick Martinez opted for Europcar.

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