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by Shane Stokes
September 26, 2017
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Over a week after the news that a former Tour de France podium finisher is being investigated in connection with his son’s sudden death, details have emerged about substances seized by police. Raimondas Rumsas’ family apartment was searched during the investigation, as was the apartment of the president of the Altopack Eppela team, Elso Frediani.
German news agency SID previously reported that banned substances and medicines were found during those searches. Now the Il Tirreno publication has provided more details, saying that amphetamines were amongst the substances found, as well as the anaemic treatment Ferlixit, syringes, insulin and medicines for the treatment of serious illnesses.
In addition to Rumsas and Frediani, the five people being investigated in relation to the death also include Narciso Franceschi, his wife Maria Luisa Luciani and their son Luca Franceschi. Their questioning will seek to determine how they were able to obtain the medications, some of which are difficult to acquire. Also set to be questioned are young athletes who were prescribed some of the medications, including substances which purify the liver. A possible additional charge of sporting fraud is being considered.
Raimondas Rumsas finished third in the 2002 Tour de France but on the day that competition ended, his wife was arrested trying to cross the French border with corticoids, EPO, testosterone, growth hormone and steroids in her car. She was held in prison for months while Rumsas refused to come to France to face questioning. He subsequently tested positive for EPO in May 2003 and was handed a one-year suspension.
Their son Linus Rumsas lost consciousness on May 1 and was brought to the San Luca hospital in Lucca, Italy. He was cleared to return home but collapsed and died the following morning. The 21-year-old was a rider with Frediani’s Altopack Eppela team.
Click through to read more at Il Tirreno.