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Sassone to be back?

Former French pro Robert Sassone, currently charged in the so-called "Cofidis affair", wants to make a return to competition. The 28 year-old, who was with Cofidis from 2000 to 2003, is accused for traffic and use of doping substances and could be penalized by a suspended prison sentence of several months when the court will render its verdict on January 19, 2007. The gifted track cyclist was also suspended for doping between July 2004 and 2006, after he tested positive for steroids at the Six Days in Noumea, New Caledonia.

Nevertheless, Sassone told the court in Nanterre on Thursday that he wanted to come back to competitive cycling "with the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games as a target. I regret what I have done and I would like French cycling, the FFC [French cycling federation - ed.] to give me a second chance." After two years spent off the bike, Sassone took up training again six weeks ago. The FFC has made known through its legal representative in the case, Christophe Lavergne, that it would "wait for the court verdict before taking any kind of decision."