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French police describe rider interviews as 'fruitless'
The investigation of possible illegal corticoid and vitamin injections by members Team Europcar during the 2011 Tour de France is set to end without any formal charges being made, according to a report by French newspaper Lemonde.fr.
In August 2011, the Office centrale de lutte contre les atteintes à l'environnement et à la santé publique (OCLAESP) began investigating the team after Thomas Voeckler finished fourth overall and wore the Tour de France race leader's yellow jersey for ten days. News of the investigation emerged this year, just three days before the start of the Tour de France after Voeckler struggled with a knee injury. He went on to win two mountain stages and the climber's polka-dot jersey, while teammate Pierre Rolland won another mountain stage and finished eighth overall.
According to Le Monde, French police have questioned riders from the team this week but have decided to wrap up the investigation due to a lack of proof that any anti-doping or health laws were violated. A source close to the investigators described the questioning of the riders as 'fruitless'.
Team Europcar has yet to react to the news but the news will come as a relief. The French team is a member of the (Movement for Credible Cycling) MPCC which carefully monitors the use of corticoids, while injections of any kind have been banned by the UCI since the spring of 2011.
"It's strange that we are being accused of using them when we have spent so much time fighting against the use of corticosteroids," team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau said at the time the news of the investigation first emerged.