28 May 2009

Giro star Menchov's team quizzed in doping probe

6:32 am on 28 May 2009

Austrian police have made contact with the Tour of Italy leader Denis Menchov's Rabobank team as part of their wide ranging investigation into blood doping.

As Menchov was defending his lead in the 17th stage of the Giro, Rabobank spokesman Luuc Eisenga told an Austrian news agency they have assured the police of their complete cooperation.

Eisenga says all the Dutch team's riders are competing 'clean'.

The Austrian investigation is focused on a Vienna laboratory, Humanplasma, which is suspected of being at the heart of a blood doping ring.

The suspendedand now retired Austrian cyclist Bernhard Kohl, is reported to have told prosecutors he received blood transplants at Humanplasma.

There've been a series of arrests Austria since March,. including that of former Austrian nordic skiing coach Walter Mayer, cyclist Christof Kerschbaum, and a Vienna pharmacist believed to have supplied both with banned substances.