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Prosecutor asks for sentences in 'Cahors affair'

The prosecutor in the 'Cahors' trial has asked the judge to give former pro Laurent Roux a suspended sentence of 2.5 years for his role in the drug trafficking affair. The prosecutor also asked that Laurent's brother Fabien be given a 1.5 year suspended sentence, but for Belgian ringleader Freddy Sergant to receive a four year unconditional prison term. The others accused may receive suspended sentences of between one and 18 months.

23 people have been named in the trial, which has focused on the trafficking of 'pot Belge', a mix of cocaine, caffeine, pain killers, sometimes amphetamine and heroin. Sergant and his wife Monique are accused of buying it in the Netherlands and selling it to the Roux brothers, who then distributed the drug mix further within French amateur and, to a smaller extent, professional cycling while keeping some for their own consumption.

Meanwhile, former pro and now French TV colour commentator Laurent Jalabert has denied supplying pot Belge to attendees at one of his end of season parties in 2001. In court statements, Fabien Roux claimed that Jalabert had started his addiction to the drug, and that he had seen Jalabert "...injecting himself in the garage of his house that evening". Laurent Roux subsequently denied Fabien's story, saying that although his younger brother had used the drug at the party in 2001, Jalabert was not present and did not supply the drugs.

In a statement, Jalabert, who was interviewed by Cahors police in 2005, said that he was "totally oblivious to the current process" and that "Laurent Roux and his brother Fabien have chosen the defence strategy oft-used by all guilty parties, everyone is doped in the world of cycling, doubtless to minimise the impact of their acts.

"Fabien Roux claimed in front of the prosecutors and especially to the media, to have been 'initiated' during the fan-club parties, notably in Mazamet. I am under obligation today to state that I do not know Fabien Roux personally, even if it is possible that he participated in my fan-club parties, among hundreds of other people."

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