Former BigMat doctor in custody over alleged EPO trafficking

Riders called as witnesses

The former team doctor for BigMat-Auber 93, Dr. Philippe Bedoucha, has been taken into custody by the French Central Office against Environmental Damage and Public Health (OCLAESP) following a hearing on possible trafficking of doping substances, in Créteil, near Paris, L'Equipe reported today.

Bedoucha was the physician for the team until the end of the 2010 season.

The preliminary investigation into the acquisition, possession and sale of doping products called a number of riders as witnesses, including Arnold Jeannesson, one of the top young riders from the Tour de France, who raced for the team from 2006 to 2008.

The riders are not under investigation, and Jeannesson expressed his displeasure in being associated with the affair at all. "I made the trip for nothing. ... I have not been able to assist the investigation."

While he was a part of the Auber 93 team in 2008, Jeannesson has since been on Caisse d'Epargne for two years before joining FDJ this season. "It bothers me to be associated with that because now everyone will talk more about that than my 15th place in the Tour de France."

Bedoucha is suspected in supplying some athletes with EPO or growth hormone.

Also in custody is former masters mountain bike champion Jean-Philippe Tellier, who tested positive for EPO in 2010.

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