By Gregor Brown in Cognac
The 2007 Tour de France was ripe with a new rumour starting Friday afternoon and running late into the evening that there could be another rider announced positive for a doping control. The rider was rumoured to be stage nine winner and mountains classification leader Mauricio Soler of Barloworld, however, Tour Director Christian Prudhomme clarified that there was no reported case of doping.
"We spoke with the commissionaire of the UCI and they said there was no case," Prudhomme said in a press conference Saturday morning in Cognac.
One Belgian website had reported that the Colombian had already tested positive, and Prudhomme was concerned about the speculation that took place the day before, and reminded the gathered press to base its work on facts. "Please be careful. Pay attention to the real facts."
The speculation was further fuelled by reports of police cars at the Barloworld hotel on Friday night. "Some journalist saw an Ag2r Prévoyance team car and thought it was a police car," confirmed Prudhomme. "There was not any police at the hotel."
Soler completed the stage 19 time trial in 42nd place.