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Italian cycling team boss arrested over doping

Investigation launched after death of Linas Rumsas sees multiple arrests

Joe Robinson
8 Feb 2018

The team owner of one of Italy's most successful amateur teams has been arrested by Italian police suspected of encouraging young riders to take banned substances.

Police raided the homes of several suspects in Lucca and the wider Tuscany region who were members of the Altopack Eppela amateur team.

Gazzetta dello Sport has reported that the owner of the team, a former sports director and a pharmacist have been arrested for facilitating and supplying prohibited drugs including EPO, human growth hormone and 'opiate-based' painkillers.

It is suggested that members of the team allowed for the taking of banned substances at a communal team house while also aiding in the correct administration and attempts to hide the banned substances during anti-doping controls.

This police raid formed part of an investigation launched after the death of 21-year old Lithuanian cyclist and former Altopack Eppela rider Linas Rumsas on 2nd May last year.

Rumsas was the son of Raimondas Rumsas, podium finisher at the 2002 Tour de France, who served a four month suspended sentence in 2006 for drug-related offences and tested positive for EPO at the 2003 Giro d'Italia.

This recent raid on the Altopack Eppela team falls in line with previous raids on the Rumsas house that saw the seizure of banned substances. Despite the connection, the police have stated that the death of Rumsas is not at the centre of the investigation.

More to follow

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