Young Tadej Pogacar made headlines when he won the Tour de France and in doing so became the second youngest winner of the gruelling 3,482.2 km race. The Slovenian rider won the Tour de France on September 20, a day before he turned 22.
Sadly though, Tadej Pogacar’s win has been overshadowed by doping allegations against one of the teams that took part. The Arkea-Samsic team is being investigated by French authorities and two members have already been arrested.
A Marseille prosecutor revealed that there were two members in this team who were alleged to have assisted the main rider of the team by providing him with banned substances.
The authorities did not officially name the main rider of the team but it is clear that Nairo Quintana is the one being targeted.
FRANCE 24 English
French authorities raided the hotel rooms occupied by Arkea-Samsic team members in Méribel to L’Équipe. The rooms of Nairo Quintana and other riders including Dayer Quintana and Winner Anacona. Reports suggest that the raids were carried out by the Central Office for the Fight against Threats to Environmental and Public Health (OCLAESP) and was not done in collaboration with the French anti-doping agency (AFLD).
Emmanuel Hubert, who is the team manager of Arkea-Samsic confirmed that the authorities had raided the hotel rooms but declined to provide any further information on the matter.
Arkea-Samsic Members Could Face 5 Years In Prison
French authorities confirmed that they found multiple health products and medicines along with a method that could very well be labelled as doping. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) which is the sport’s governing body said it welcomed the investigation by the authorities.
The penalties for convicted doping in sport in France are very strict. If convicted, individuals could face fines up to 75,000 euros and a prison term of up to 5 years. The last time an individual was charged and convicted of doping during the Tour de France was back in 2012 when Frank Schleck failed a drug test