Sat, Nov 11, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Prosecutors ask for Millar's acquittal in Cofidis doping trial

AP , NANTERRE, FRANCE

Prosecutors asked a French court to acquit British cyclist David Millar in a doping trial involving several current and former Cofidis riders.

Millar and the other riders have already "paid a lot," prosecutor Jacques Hossaert told the court on Thursday.

He requested suspended sentences of three to six months for the other six cyclists on trial. He did not ask for any fines.

The prosecutor was tougher on Cofidis physiotherapist Boguslaw Madejak, whom he called the pivot of the doping network.

Hossaert requested a one-year sentence, including four to six months in prison.

He especially criticized Madejak for persuading two fellow Poles to start doping.

The riders, Marek Rutkiewicz and Daniel Majewski, did not come to France for the trial, citing financial difficulties.

The trial was scheduled to wrap up yesterday with closing arguments by the defense.

Hossaert said the evidence against Millar was weak and praised him for "giving interesting leads for the fight against doping."

In testimony earlier this week, Millar said intense pressure to perform led him to try the banned blood-boosting hormone EPO.

He said the decision to start doping was difficult.

The Scottish rider was banned for two years and stripped of his 2003 world time-trial title after admitting to a French judge that he used EPO.

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