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Gonchar's not under investigation in Italy

Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile)

Serguei Gonchar (T-Mobile) (Image credit: Jon Devich)

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Although Le Monde is generally considered the paper of record in France, yesterday's report naming T-Mobile's former maillot jaune Serguei Gonchar's as still being under investigation by Paola Cameran, the prosecutor of Padova, was not correct. Gonchar's and other riders like Davide Rebellin had been under investigation for alleged evidence of doping collected in 2003 via telephone wiretaps and video surveillance, but Italian authorities closed the inquest in September 2005. The French newspaper reprinted yesterday taped conversations between Gonchar and his Liquigas-Pata team physician Dr.Enrico Lazzaro which allegedly implicated the Ukrainian in the San Remo doping probe from 2001.

T-Mobile spokesman Luuc Eisenga told Eurosport's David Harmon today, "We wouldn't have hired Gonchar's if he was under investigation and we've gotten the news confirmed from Italian authorities that (Gonchar's) was cleared of any wrongdoing in this investigation."

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