PARIS (AFP) — Christophe Bassons, a champion of the fight against doping following his experiences with the Festina team, has been banned for a year after missing a doping control, the French cycling dederation said on Sunday.
The former professional rider failed to attend a post-race doping control after the French marathon mountain bike championships at Langon in western France on September 1.
“The initial penalty for such a breach of anti-doping rules is two years but the duration of the suspension, following the explanations given by Mr. Christophe Bassoons, was reduced to a one-year suspension,” a federation spokesman said.
He added that federation president David Lappartient would consider “in the coming days possible remedies and avenues of appeal if he thinks fit.”
Bassons was riding for the Festina team when it became embroiled in a doping scandal in 1998. The following year he abandoned his one and only Tour de France after a number of riders, including Lance Armstrong, made their dissatisfaction clear following his anti-doping sentiments expressed in a newspaper column.
The 38-year-old Frenchman retired from professional cycling in 2001 and works for the ministry of youth and sport in the Bordeaux region.