By Susan Westemeyer
Raimondas Rumsas, third in the 2002 Tour de France, was arrested Wednesday in Lucca, Italy, under a European arrest warrant issued in relationship to the doping affair surrounding him and his wife, Edita. French lawyer Alexandre Varaut confirmed the arrest, and said that together with his Italian lawyer, he would "do everything to get him free." He will file an appeal of the arrest warrant in a court in Florence.
The European arrest warrant was issued at the request of a Judge in Vonneville, France, against Rumsas. It is related to the July 2002 doping affair, in which Edita Rumsas was arrested with a campervan full of drugs on her way home from the Tour de France. The trial on charges stemming from this affair is scheduled to start in October of this year. The European arrest warrant was issued to ensure that Rumsas and his wife, who are Lithuanian but live in Italy, would actually appear at the trial in France.
Rumsas won the Lithuanian time trial championship last weekend. He rides for the small Italian team Parkpre-Guru-Selle Italia, and has won several Gran Fondo races this year.