Nas raid inconclusive; teams stand up against raids

By Tim Maloney, European Editor in Dolomiti Stars

Yesterday's Nas raid that swooped down on the Davitamon-Lotto and Saunier Duval-Prodir team at their hotel was inconclusive. Davitamon-Lotto had a device seized called "Alti Trainer", which produces hypoxia and simulates altitude training.

Team doctor Daniel De Neve told La Gazzetta dello Sport, "We use this system in our team because it is approved by many national Olympic committees, including Australia and Switzerland. We simply didn't know (Alti Trainer) wasn't allowed in Italy. But many scientific studies have shown that this (technique) is not doping."

After De Neve spoke to La Gazzetta, the UCI issued a communique that expressed solidarity with the teams and team doctors involved in the raid. Giro d'Italia organizers also seemed unconcerned with the Nas raid and told Cyclingnews that "nothing happened as far as we are concerned."

As for Saunier Duval-Prodir, a further examination of the police documents revealed that the products seized in the raid had no prohibited substances. Both results from what many consider unprovoked attacks by the Italian Carabinieri drug squad have provoked a strongly worded response from the International Association of Pro Cycling Teams, which threatened, "We do not exclude the possibility to boycott (the Giro d'Italia) in the case of further unjustified disturbances of medical and sporting activity during the Giro d'Italia."

The newly empowered ProTour teams seem unwilling to allow the Nas to make unwanted intrusions during the Giro d'Italia, but eventually that could mean little to the Nas Carabinieri, who need no search warrants or substantial proof to make further raids on Giro d'Italia teams under Italian law.

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