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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 6-28, 2002
Tour de France news for July 4, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Sevilla and Botero will lead Kelme
Kelme-Costa Blanca team leader Vicente Belda has chosen his nine men for the Tour de France. Led by Spaniard Oscar Sevilla and Colombian Santiago Botero, the team also contains Francisco Cabello, Josť Javier Gomez Gozalo, Josť Enrique Gutierrez, Santiago Perez Fernandez, Antonio Tauler, Josť Angel Vidal Martinez and Constantino Zaballa Contierrez.
Botero is one of the few men to have beaten Armstrong in a time trial in recent weeks (the other being Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano), and Sevilla is always a threat in the mountains, and has improved his time trialling abilities.
Ag2r replaces Paumier with Loder after corticosteroid positive
French team Ag2r-Prevoyance has made a last minute substitution to its selection for the upcoming Tour. Thierry Loder will ride in place of Laurent Paumier, who tested positive for corticosteroids in the Midi Libre. Paumier, riding for St Quentin Oktos at the time, won the final stage of that race but when tested, traces of corticosteroids were found in his urine.
Paumier explained that had taken an oral does of corticosteroids to help recover from a bout of bronchitis before the Midi Libre. He had permission to do so from his doctor, and it was noted in his health book. However, according to French law he did not have the right to take corticosteroids.
He was due to debut with Ag2r at the Tour de France, but team boss Vincent Lavenu was forced to suspend him until the affair is resolved by the French Cycling Federation, who have opened an investigation into it.
The UCI changed its rules on May 1 to allow all forms of corticosteroids to be used, providing there was therapeutic justification given. However, the rules remain stricter in France.