PARIS (AP) — A French inquiry into sports doping indicates 1998 Tour de France champion Marco Pantani and runner-up Jan Ullrich used the banned blood-booster EPO.
France's senate, after a five-month investigation focused on sports doping, released the report Wednesday. It describes what many have long suspected — the use of EPO was rife in cycling in the late 1990s, before a test for the drug had been developed.
Pantani was suspended in 1999 from the Giro after failing a random blood test, and his career was damaged by several doping investigations. He died in 2004 at 34 of an accidental drug overdose.
Ullrich has admitted to blood doping and last year was stripped of his third-place finish in the 2005 Tour.