Barloworld rider Moises Duenas, who was removed from the Tour de France after he failed a doping control for EPO, was found to have not just some doping products, but a "small pharmacy" in his room, AFP reported Thursday. Duenas appeared before a French court in Tarbes Thursday to face criminal charges for "use and possession of plants and poisonous substances".
Prosecutor Gerard Aldige described the items uncovered in the rider's belongings, "In the cupboard and among the rider's personal belongings gendarmes found many things including medical material," adding that "syringes, needles and blood bags" as well as "a multitude of other products .. in liquid and sachet form" were seized.
Duenas could face up to two years in prison and a 3,750 euro fine, and because one of the drugs found was not authorized for import into France, he could get an additional three years for illegally bringing it into the country.
Barloworld team manager Claudio Corti, speaking before the start of the 12th stage in Lavelanet on Thursday, denied all knowledge of the discovery and said he had yet to speak to Duenas.
While the Saunier Duval-Scott team withdrew its entire team from the race after Riccardo Riccò failed a doping control, the Barloworld manager Claudio Corti insisted that his team will remain in the race. The squad is down to just four riders after the injuries of Mauricio Soler, Felix Cardenas, Paolo Longho Borghini, and the abandon of Baden Cooke on Thursday's stage.
"If he (Duenas) is the only one implicated then why should the whole team pay for it? We are cooperating and trying to deal with this together," Corti said. "If it turns out that Duenas has been doing all of this behind our backs, then we will start proceedings against him."