Gaumont told police he took, distributed EPO

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PARIS (AP) -- Olympic medalist Philippe Gaumont told police he used the banned performance enhancer
EPO and gave the drug to another cyclist, his lawyer said Monday.

Gaumont faces possible criminal charges in an investigation focusing on Cofidis, one of France's top
cycling teams. Several cyclists have been taken in for questioning, and police have seized male
hormones, EPO and amphetamines.

``Philippe Gaumont has admitted to doping,'' lawyer Olivier Combe told The Associated Press. ``He
also explained some unfortunate things that are happening in the (cycling) system.''

Gaumont won a bronze in the team trial at the 1992 Olympics and rode for Cofidis in the 2003 Tour
de France.

He told police he never was asked or told to take performance-enhancing drugs. But he did describe
how ``everything is put in place to encourage'' their use, Combe said. The rider only ``discovered''
EPO after becoming a professional, Combe added.

The lawyer said Gaumont also told investigators that he had given EPO to a fellow rider, who was not
identified. Under French law, the use of doping products is not illegal, but distributing them is.

Last week, Gaumont was placed under investigation -- one step short of being formally charged -- for
``offering, transferring and encouraging the use of doping products,'' officials said.

Gaumont was detained with teammate Cedric Vasseur as they returned to Paris from a training session
in southern Spain.

The two were released, and Vasseur was not charged. His lawyer, Bertrand Wambeke, said Monday that
Vasseur had not admitted to using doping products.

EPO, banned in sports, is used by endurance athletes because it helps boost concentrations of red
blood cells.
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