BBC NEWS
BBCi CATEGORIES   TV   RADIO   COMMUNICATE   WHERE I LIVE   INDEX    SEARCH 

BBC News UK Edition
 You are in: Special Report: 1998: 07/98: Tour de France  
News Front Page
World
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
UK Politics
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
Education
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
CBBC News
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tour de France Friday, 31 July, 1998, 15:49 GMT 16:49 UK
Riders fear truth warn authorities
race
Riders are simply delaying the inevitable, say authorities
French judges and police unions have rejected criticism that they are harassing Tour de France riders with their unprecedented drug investigations.

The Magistrates Trade Union (USM) and the Union of National Police Commissars and Senior Officials (SCHFPN) said the uproar surrounding the raids was a "derisory delaying tactic aimed at hindering the search for the truth".

TVM
TVM riders (in yellow) have pulled out
Tour de France riders have complained about being searched and questioned. Many argue that they have been treated like animals.

Seven teams have pulled out of the race in protest since the drug investigations began.

On Friday, the five remaining members of the Dutch team TVM were the latest to announce their withdrawal.

The five riders - Sergei Ivanov, Sergei Outschakov, Steven de Jongh, Servais Knaven and Bart Voskamp - pulled out before the start of the 19th stage from La Chaux-de-Fonds to Autun.

A sixth TVM rider, Jeroen Blijlevens, pulled out of the Tour during Thursday's stage.

riders
Riders staged a protest on the 17th stage
The treatment of the TVM riders was the focal point of the Tour's worst day, the 17th Stage.

During the leg, the riders stopped twice and finished the day holding hands. As a result the stage was ultimately annulled.

But in a joint statement both the USM and the SCHFPN have hit back at the riders' protests.

"[We] would like to bring everyone back to reason and to a healthy appreciation of recent events," the statement said.

"Magistrates and polices apply the law as required, without taking sides and with due concern to respect human dignity. But the law is equal for everyone."

Two other police unions have issued similar statements in the past few days.

Links to more Tour de France stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Tour de France stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | World | UK | England | N Ireland | Scotland | Wales |
UK Politics | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology |
Health | Education | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes