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Wednesday, 25 October, 2000, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Herve admits drugs shame
Pascal Herve
Pascal Herve in action for Festina in 1998
French cyclist Pascal Herve followed the example of Richard Virenque, his close friend and former Festina team-mate, by finally admitting to drug-taking at the Tour de France doping trial.

Herve's admission of guilt followed 24 hours after Virenque's dramatic confession that he had taken banned drugs.

"I want to confess as that will relieve everybody. Yes, I took drugs," Herve told the court.

After Virenque, the 36-year-old Herve became the last of the nine Festina cyclists caught up in the affair in 1998 to own up to doping.

Mugs

"I didn't say it before because I wanted everyone to come clean, not just the nine mugs who gave themselves up in the Tour de France," Herve explained.

The trial against 10 defendants is the culmination of two years of accusations and counter-accusations in France over drug-taking among professional cyclists that has shaken the sport to its foundations.

The defendants are charged with various offences connected with encouraging and facilitating the use of illegal drugs in sporting competitions.

The trial is expected to last until 10 November.

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See also:

20 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
Virenque evidence 'insufficient'
23 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
Cyclist claims drugs innocence
24 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
'Festina Affair': A timeline
24 Oct 00 |  Other Sports
Virenque comes clean too late
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