Police in Toulouse took Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Romain Sicard into custody in the early hours of Friday morning (November 11) after he was seen putting a traffic sign into the boot of his car. Challenged by police officers, who also found a traffic cone in the back of his car, the former world under-23 road race champion allegedly refused to reveal his identity and underwent a breath test. This showed he was over the limit and he was detained.
A statement released by his Euskaltel team said that the rider had informed them that he had been detained by French police “after apparently testing positive in an alcohol control test”. The statement added that the team will meet with Sicard and study the case to assess whether its internal code has been infringed.
Sicard, who comes from and still lives in the French Basque Country, stepped up to the Euskaltel team from its Orbea affiliate after winning the world U23 title and the Tour de l’Avenir in 2009. Rated one of the best French prospects to have emerged in years, Sicard has subsequently struggled to make an impact due to a still undiagnosed issue that has left him lacking power in one of his legs.
Speaking about Sicard just last month, outgoing Euskaltel team director Igor González de Galdeano said: “We could see that he lacked strength in one of his legs, but we haven’t been able to work out exactly why. We’ve done a thousand tests and I can only hope that during the three months he will have off over the winter we will be able to get to the bottom of this. I am convinced of his quality and sooner or later he will get over these difficulties and we will all be able to enjoy one of the biggest promises in world cycling.”
Galdeano said that Sicard had been finding it hard to deal with a problem that has meant that he has been unable to ride and train at his top level for some time.
Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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