Two riders have been ejected from the Tour because they are being investigated by police for alleged doping.
Slovenian Martin Hvastija (Alessio-Bianchi) and Italy’s Stefano Casagranda (Saeco) will not join other riders on the start of today’s ninth stage after Tour director Leblanc said they were out of the Tour on Monday. Shortly before, Leblanc had received confirmation from Italy that the two were being investigated by the police. Following Tour rules, riders who are under official investigation for doping are not allowed to compete in the Tour.
“We received a letter from Padova’s financial brigade, saying the riders are under investigation in Italy on doping charges,” Leblanc said. “We advised their team directors and we told them that the riders presence in the Tour was no longer welcome.”
It’s the second rider that Saeco have lost – Danilo Di Luca was booted off before the start – equalling Cofidis’s tally after they lost both Cedric Vasseur and David Millar. The sixth rider to so far lose his place is Lotto-Domo’s Christophe Brandt, who failed a urine test at the weekend.
And it looks like the ejections may not yet be over, according to a report on velonews, Tour organisers are still waiting to hear back from Italian police about possible investigations into Postal’s Pavel Padrnos and Quickstep’s Stefano Zanini.