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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 June 2007, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Tour takes Riis off winners list
Bjarne Riis
Riis beat Telekom team-mate Jan Ullirch to the 1996 Tour title
Tour de France organisers say they no longer consider Bjarne Riis the winner of the 1996 race after he admitted using performance-enhancing drugs.

Tour spokesman Philippe Sudres said: "We have removed him from the list because of the doping admission.

"We consider philosophically that he can no longer claim to have won."

Riis's team-mate Jan Ullrich finished second in the 1996 Tour but there is no indication yet that the title will be awarded to him.

Sudres said it is up to cycling's governing body, the UCI, to formally revoke Riis's title which would be a first in the Tour's 104-year history.

The UCI said last month the time limit for sanctioning Riis has expired but urged him "to return his yellow jersey, the symbol of his victory".

After his confession last month, the 43-year-old said: "My jersey's at home in a cardboard box. They are welcome to come and get it."

Riis, now the sporting director of Team CSC, confirmed that he used the blood-booster EPO between 1993 and 1998, including during his '96 Tour win.

His was among a string of similar admissions by former Telekom team riders, including Eric Zabel, Udo Boelts, Bert Dietz, Christian Henn and Rolf Aldag.

The revelations were a further blow to the Tour de France, which begins its 2007 edition in London on 7 July.

Last year's winner, American Floyd Landis, faces losing his title and being banned for two years after he tested positive for synthetic testosterone at last year's race.

He is awaiting a decision from an arbitration panel on whether the victory will stand.

SEE ALSO
Belgian police make doping raids
07 Jun 07 |  Cycling
Ex-team boss denies drug claims
05 Jun 07 |  Cycling


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