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The cobbles of Paris-Roubaix provide an epic backdrop
British fan refuses to reveal rider's identity
A vial of pills recovered by a British fan during Paris-Roubaix is to be handed to UK Anti-Doping for analysis, the Telegraph newspaper has reported.
Mike Brampton, the managing director of Thames Medical, was taking photographs on a corner when several riders crashed. The vial of pills fell from a rider's pocket but the rider and his soigneur failed to pick up the vial. Brampton did, and posted a photo of it to Twitter, sparking debate and discussion on what the pills where and how he rider intended to use them.
"Found after crash @ParisRoubaix_ to test or not to test? #ParisRoubaix @UCI_cycling @BrianCooksonUCI" Brampton tweeted.
UCI President Brian Cookson replied: “W’out jumping to conclusions, please pass this to CADF [Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation], AFLD [French anti-doping agency], UKAD or police. Tks.”
Brampton told the Telegraph that UK Anti-Doping had said it would collect the vial. He photographed the rider and the vial falling from his pocket but refused to reveal his identity. However, he will inform UKAD.
“I’d rather not say who was involved or where exactly it happened, but it was roughly halfway through the race between cobbled sections, not on a cobbled section itself, Brampton said.
“Basically the crash happened and then they all got up and the soigneur pushed the rider [in question] away. I’d already spotted the vial, as had others. It was actually pointed out to the soigneur who sort of shrugged his shoulders as if to say ‘nothing to do with me’."
“It will absolutely be possible to pinpoint who the vial belongs to. I have 34 in-sequence photographs from about 15ft away, pin sharp. In one of them you can actually see the vial falling from the rider’s pocket."
“I’ve spoken to UKAD twice today and they are taking it very seriously. They are sending someone down so they can bag it, seal it and have it tested. But I’m sure it’s nothing sinister. Well, I’d like to think not."
Brampton refuted comments on social media that he was wrong to publicise his discovery but he hopes the pills are not anything illegal.
"Some people have been critical of my decision to make this public but my genuine hope, as I’m sure it is of most cycling fans, is that it turns out to be absolutely nothing and the powder is something like magnesium or beta-Alanine or something else not on the banned list,” he said.