<
>

Lotto-Domo team awaiting talk with Brandt

GUERET, France -- Tests on the B sample of
Belgian rider Christophe Brandt, who has been withdrawn from the
Tour de France on doping charges, have confirmed the presence of
methadone, his Lotto-Domo team said on Tuesday.

Brandt was pulled out of the race by the team on Saturday
after failing a test in Namur at the end of the second stage.

He failed a separate test on Friday, also for methadone.

"We have looked everywhere in the team for methadone. We
have made tests and checks on power bars and nutritional
products we use. But we did not find anything," team director
Claudy Criquielion told journalists.

"We keep our trust in Christophe, but it's now up to him to
find explanations," he added.

Team manager Patrick Sercu said he would like to hear the
reaction of Christophe Brandt.

"After that we will sit around the table with the partners
to decide on whether or not to continue our cooperation with
Brandt or break off the contract. But first I will talk to the
cyclist," he said.

Brandt's case is unusual because methadone is rarely used by
sportsmen. Brandt has pleaded his innocence.