French cycling adviser sentenced

PARIS -- A French medical adviser accused of inciting cyclists to cheat with drugs has been sentenced to a year in prison by a Paris appeals court.

Bernard Sainz was convicted on charges of "incitement to doping" and illegally practicing medicine in 1998 and 1999 -- during and after the 1998 Festina affair at the Tour de France in which police found a stash of performance-enhancing drugs in a team car, plunging the race into crisis.

Sainz was sentenced to two years in prison, including one year suspended, Thursday.

Sainz, 66, was put under investigation in May 1999, accused of providing testosterone and other performance-enhancers to cyclists. He has repeatedly denied the charges, arguing that he was providing only homeopathic therapy.