Frédéric Champagne, the lawyer for Philippe Gaumont, pleaded today for the sport of cycling not to forget "cycling's lost generation." According to AFP, he said his client had been "attacked for breaking the law of silence" that has protected doping in cycling. He lamented the fact that his client and others had come onto the cycling scene just as EPO was emerging and creating "an apocalyptic situation."
"The peloton is not clean," said Gaumont's lawyer. "The circuit is completely infected with doping. This is the practice that Philippe Gaumont denounces. And he has paid for doing so."
As reported yesterday by Cyclingnews, the public prosecutor earlier asked that David Millar, who returned to the peloton this year after serving a two-year suspension, not be sentenced to prison. The same prosecutor recommended a prison term of four to six months for Boguslaw Madejak, but requested suspended sentences for Gaumont, Mederic Clain, Massimiliano Lelli, Robert Sassone, Marek Rutkiewicz and Daniel Majewski, and pharmacist Pierre Ben Yamin.
The riders and ex-riders were on trial for doping with amphetamines, hormones, steroids, and diuretics (for covering the doping products) between 2001 and 2004. Ten people are on trial in Nanterre, France, for doping charges. The judge will render a verdict in the case on January 19, 2007.
The affair originated when a Polish Cofidis rider was caught with the banned substance EPO at an airport. Gaumont wrote a book about the doping practices of the team. His lawyer emphasized that Gaumont had cooperated with authorities from the start "because he had nothing to lose," according to AFP.
David Millar's lawyer Paul-Albert Iweins said, "During this case, we have heard, 'we want cycling to be clean'...the sport must change; otherwise it will disappear."