Drugs Still the Hot Topic

Associated Press

The Tour de France went into its third week today reeling from a drug scandal with defending champion Jan Ullrich in the lead and the Alps looming ahead.

Italian Daniele Nardello won the 13th stage on Saturday, but the drug investigation remained the main topic.

Before the start of the day’s 122-mile stage, French cyclist Laurent Jalabert met with Daniel Baal, the vice president of the International Cycling Union, to discuss the way the drug situation was being handled.

“The riders were the ones hit by the criticisms,” Jalabert said. “So the racers want to change things. The sporting power has just to listen to us.”


Jalabert led a protest that delayed the start of Friday’s stage for two hours.

Baal said there will be a major meeting in the off-season among riders, the UCI, cycling federations and doctors. “But we cannot do it now in the middle of this,” Baal said.

Nardello won Saturday’s leg from Frontigan-la-Peyrade to Carpentras in a sprint with a small group of riders who broke away from the pack.