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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Monday, October 14, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Drugs, Infighting Disrupt Tour’s Day

By Associated Press

The winner of the stage was placed last. Another top rider was thrown out of the race and another tested positive for drugs.

It was not a typical day for the Tour de France on Friday.

Jeroen Blijlevens was declared the winner of the sixth stage after organizers took away Erik Zabel’s apparent victory and placed him last for the stage.

“After looking at the images of the sprint of the sixth stage, the jury of commissioners has decided to put Erik Zabel to last place of the stage and fine him 200 Swiss francs ($137),” said Jean-Francois Pesheux, sports director of the Tour de France.

Zabel was disqualified for interference early in the final sprint.

Later, Pesheux said that Djamolidin Abdoujaparov of Uzbekistan tested positive after the second stage and was disqualified for the rest of the Tour.

Abdoujaparov, a powerful sprinter, originally was third in Friday’s stage behind Zabel, who then was moved to second after the disqualification.

The director of Abdoujaparov’s team Lotto, Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke, confirmed the positive test.

“It is a delicate problem because he was controlled for two different products - a product of unknown origin and another product coming from a member of my team that I fired immediately,” Vandenbroucke said.

“We had to react quickly because I cannot allow to work with some people who do things behind my back.”

Wordcount: 230
Tags: cycling

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