Arrest Day at the Tour de France
It was probably only a matter of time. French cyclist Remy Di Gregorio (Cofidis) was taken into custody by police today—the first rest day of the 2012 Tour de France—at his team hotel in Villie-Morgon, France. Di Gregorio, 26, like many pro riders before him, is suspected of doping.
Officials said that Di Gregorio, in 35th place after Stage 9, has been under investigation since June 2011. "(The police) have followed Remy's actions for a good while," Cofidis team manager Yvon Sanquer said today, distancing the French cycling team from the scandal.
Cofidis, currently 11th out of 22 teams, has been though a couple of high-profile doping scandals in the past, including 2004, when David Millar and Cedric Vasseur were arrested for taking male hormones, EPO and amphetamines (Millar would later write a book about his arrest and coming clean) and in 2008, when the team pulled out of the Tour de France following Cristian Moreni's positive test for testosterone. In the fallout from the 2004 incident, rider Philippe Gaumont accused his Cofidis teammates and the team doctor of widespread doping. In 2009, the UCI didn't renew Cofidis' ProTour license due to poor performance. The team was one of four French teams that received wild card entry to this year's Tour.
Di Gregorio was immediately suspended from the team, pending the results of the investigation, which also led to the arrest of two people suspected of supplying Di Gregorio with banned substances. "Cycling is about beautiful moments," Sanquer said, "and there are also very difficult ones. This is one."
Tomorrow, the Tour rolls into the Alps, minus one rider.