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89th Tour de France - Grand Tour
France, July 6-28, 2002
Tour de France news flash for July 29, 2002
Edited by Jeff Jones
Rumsas' wife arrested
Lampre suspends Rumsas
Edita Rumsiene, the wife of Lampre's Raimondas Rumsas (3rd overall in the Tour) has been arrested on Sunday near Chamonix in the French Alps by French customs officers. In her car, a lot of "medications that could be considered as doping products" were found, according to a spokeswoman for French customs. There were also two written prescriptions in Polish.
Edita Rumsiene was leaving the Tour on Sunday morning and was probably on her way to Italy where the couple live. She has followed her husband since the Alpine stages of the Tour. The border control took place at 8:00am local time, and Mrs Rumsas remained in police custody in Lyon today (Monday).
On Sunday night, French police searched the rooms booked by Lampre in the Sofitel Porte de Sèvres in Paris. However, only one of the team's consultants, Gabriele Sola, had actually checked in. Mr Sola's room and the car he used during the Tour de France were searched. Five hours later, after making sure that Mr Sola had nothing to do with the circumstances, the policemen left the hotel.
The team issued a press release saying that it was "puzzled about what has happened and declares to have nothing to do with it. The Lampre-Daikin team - which has immediately communicated what happened to UCI president Hein Verbruggen and to the general manager of the Tour de France Jean-Marie Leblanc - is waiting for a more precise knowledge of the facts, and has suspended Mr Raimondas Rumsas from the sporting activity. If the authorities found the rider in any way responsible, the Lampre-Daikin team would dismiss him immediately."
In comments made to Reuters, Tour de France assistant director Daniel Baal said Rumsas would also be stripped of his third place if the he was implicated in some sort of a doping affair, but specified that Rumsas had been tested twice during the Tour and the results were negative each time.
"The rider was controlled twice, especially in a random test after the Mont Ventoux stage," said Baal. "He had a blood test in the morning and a urine test in the afternoon. I can say that up to July 24 and pending definitive results, Rumsas was negative. If he were guilty or confessed to doping, then obviously he would lose his placing and would be excluded from the Tour de France."