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Dueñas, Piepoli confessed

Moises Dueñas Nevado (now ex-Barloworld)

Moises Dueñas Nevado (now ex-Barloworld) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Two riders who have withdrawn from the Tour de France confessed to using EPO, the Spanish daily El Pais reported Saturday. The first, Moises Dueñas, a Spanish rider who was the second to test positive for EPO at the Tour de France, confessed to using the drugs after testing positive. After police uncovered doping products in his hotel room, Dueñas told investigators in Tarbes that he had purchased the products from a Spanish Doctor named Jesus Losa.

Losa, a former team doctor for Euskaltel-Euskadi, was quick to deny he had any involvement. "I have never given banned products to Moises Dueñas," Losa told El Pais. "In fact, I have worked with Dueñas, but only in matters of nutrition, diet and training. And indeed, I have received money from him, I do not know how much, but there are bills around."

Four years ago Losa was named by David Millar as providing him with EPO, but while he was suspended from Euskaltel-Euskadi after that revelation, Losa said he never was charged. "I was never called by a judge to testify as a witness or even less as a defendant," said Losa Saturday. "And if they call me to Tarbes I shall have no problem in going to testify."

Barloworld announced Saturday that it will withdraw its sponsorship from the team following the Tour de France because of the doping scandal.

In the same article, El Pais reported that Italian Leonardo Piepoli, the winner of stage 10, confessed to his directeur sportif Joxean Fernandez Matxin to using EPO. After his team-mate Riccardo Riccò was taken away by police after testing positive for EPO, Piepoli reportedly said to Matxin, "I have done the same as Riccardo."

No positive doping control has been announced yet for Piepoli, but the team's manager, Mauro Gianetti, pulled the entire squad out of the race. Riccò was indicted on the same charges as Duenas in a court in Foix, but denied using EPO.