Italian rider held in Tour de France drugs find

Italian rider Dario Frigo was detained by police on Wednesday before the start of the 11th stage of the Tour de France after banned drugs were found in his wife’s car, his Fassa Bortolo team said.

Frigo (31) was forced to pull out of the 2001 Giro d’Italia when Italian police found drugs in his hotel room.

He was lying 52nd in the Tour.

On Tuesday, Russian rider Yevgeni Petrov was thrown out of the Tour after failing a blood test.

The Lampre rider, 45th overall, failed a random test designed to check abnormal red-blood-cell levels, which could signal the use of the banned endurance-booster EPO (erythropoietin).

He was declared unfit to continue.

Doping teams have tested 129 riders since the Tour started 12 days ago.

Frigo’s case is not without precedent.

Lithuanian rider Raimondas Rumsas has been summonsed to appear in a French court in November on doping charges relating to the 2002 Tour de France when, after finishing third, his wife was arrested by French customs officers with drugs in her car.

Rumsas, who lives in Italy, has not been back to France since then.—Sapa-AFP