Another Team Leaves Tour Under Cloud

Riders' protest is prelude to another turbulent day in France
By Will McCahill,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2007 5:47 PM CDT
Overall leader Michael Rasmussen of Denmark, left, and Levi Leipheimer of the U.S. strain as they climb the ascent of the Aubisque pass during the 16th stage of the 94th Tour de France cycling race between...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Today's stage of the Tour de France began with riders gathering for a short protest, and ended with another team dropping out after one of its cyclists failed a drug test. According to the New York Times, Cristian Moreni was led away by police after the stage, and his team, France's Cofidis, pulled out.

Moreni was expelled after testing positive for testosterone; yesterday, pre-race favorite Alexander Vinokourov got the boot after he failed a blood-doping test. The drug cloud has obscured the race itself, in which Denmark's Michael Rasmussen—another rider under scrutiny by cycling officials—increased his overall lead during the 16th stage in the Pyrenees mountains straddling the France-Spain border.