French cycling team Cofidis, rocked by a doping scandal for the last four months, decided on Friday to quit competition until further notice to give itself "the time and means to clarify the situation".
Earlier this year, the team sacked Philippe Gaumont and suspended two other riders, Cedric Vasseur and Mederic Clain, charged on doping grounds following the arrest of a former team rider found with doping products in January.
Paris - Roubaix
Paris-Roubaix: Backstedt stakes Swedish claim
11/04/2004 AT 14:03
"From today, and for the time that will be necessary, Cofidis will not enter teams at the start of races," Cofidis said in a statement. The decision came on the day French sports daily l'Equipe published official documents from the investigation accusing Cofidis riders and team staff of dealing and taking doping substances.
The French team has complained about seeing documents in the press that they had been unable to obtain for their defence. "That is why Cofidis is taking the case to court for breaching of the investigation secrecy," the team statement said.
The first impact of Friday's decision will be seen on Sunday when Cofidis riders will not take part in the Paris-Roubaix World Cup classic.
Paris - Roubaix
Cofidis need to start anew, Leblanc says
10/04/2004 AT 12:25
Paris - Roubaix
Boonen: "Now I can win a World Cup race"
08/04/2004 AT 10:53