Saunier Duval rider David Millar will face trial in Paris today (Monday) along with six other current and former members of the Cofidis team over allegations of 'acquiring and holding banned substances'.
As reported by Cyclingnewsyesterday, three other defendants are also implicated in the case - a cycling technician, a pharmacist and a former Cofidis physiotherapist - who face charges relating to supplying performance-enhancing drugs and encouraging riders to engage in doping. Each of the defendants could face up to five years in prison and fines of €75,000 if found guilty.
The case is based around a series of intercepted phone calls between Boguslaw Madejak, an ex-Cofidis physiotherapist from Poland and two other Polish riders on the Cofidis team, who reportedly used codes to discuss the trafficking of illegal substances. One of the riders, Marek Rutkiewicz, was found to be in possession of seven vials of EPO whilst returning from a trip to Poland in January 2004.
Aside from Millar, other riders who face charges are three Frenchmen, Robert Sassone, Mederic Clain and Philippe Gaumont, plus Daniel Majewski of Poland and Italian Massimiliano Lelli.
Millar admitted using EPO three times during his career and was subsequently banned from racing for two years. Since his return in July this year he has been a strong advocate of drug-free racing and made a passionate speech about the possibilities of winning clean after victory in Stage 14 of the Vuelta a España.