After the news that Cristian Moreni has been tested positive when exogenic testosterone traces were found in his urine following stage 11, the Cofidis team management have taken the decision to pull out of the race.
The news of a rider testing positive was revealed by L’Equipe yesterday afternoon, but the name of the rider was unknown for several hours. Finally the name was made public, and the Italian rider was escorted away by French police after finishing yesterday’s stage 16.
This isn’t the first time the team have been hit by a doping scandal. In 2004, David Millar, then riding for Cofidis, was revealed to be doping and was hit with a two year ban. The team quickly instigated a self-imposed racing ban while a strict anti-doping policy was put in place to prevent such an incident happening again.
Main sponsor Cofidis (an insurance company) state that pulling out of the Tour is necessary to decide whether they want to remain involved with the race. The sponsor has pulled its advertising vehicles out of the publicity caravan with immediate effect.
“All these measurements, including the personal engagement signed by each runner, did not prevent Christian Moreni from having an intolerable behaviour which led Cofidis immediately to apply to its opposition disciplinary measurements envisaged,” a statement on the Cofidis website declares.
This spells bad news for Bradley Wiggins, whose second Tour de France has come to an untimely end. The British rider has been having a good Tour, with a good performance in the Prologue, an epic 190km breakaway on stage 6, and a top five in the Albi time trial, and will be absolutely gutted with the news.
Speaking to the Guardian, Wiggins said: “I don’t want to continue in the Tour de France anyway, it is not supposed to be like this.”
“It is completely gutting to have to quit the Tour but everyone knows where I stand on doping. I have nothing to hide.”