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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 16:54 GMT 17:54 UK
Astarloa leaves Cofidis
Igor Astarloa
Astarloa wants to compete in World Cup races
Cofidis have agreed to release world road champion Igor Astarloa from his contract as the doping investigation into the French team continues.

Astarloa joined Cofidis on a two-year deal shortly before he won the world championship in Hamilton.

"The world champion has been released on his request from his contract with Cofidis," the team said in a statement.

"He is now free to sign for another team and to take part in the races for which he prepared especially."

Cofidis have been under investigation since their former rider Marek Rutkiewicz and team assistant Boguslaw Madejak were arrested after banned substances were found in their possession.

The team subsequently decided to take a break from cycling, which has stopped its riders from competing in World Cup events.

Astarloa's Cofidis team-mate David Millar was unable to race for Great Britain in the team pursuit at the World Cup track event in Manchester earlier this month.

Millar left in Athens limbo
10 Apr 04  |  Cycling
Cofidis star axed over EPO
17 Feb 04  |  Cycling
Millar unconcerned by probe
21 Jan 04  |  Cycling
Cofidis face investigation
13 Jan 04  |  Cycling
Astarloa stuns Hamilton field
12 Oct 03  |  Cycling

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