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French Cyclist Dropped From Tour

July 3, 2002

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PARIS (AP) _ French rider Laurent Paumier was dropped from the Tour de France after failing a drug test.

Paumier was withdrawn by his AG2R Prevoyance team on Wednesday after testing positive for corticosteroids, which serves as an anti-inflammatory or to treat asthma or allergies, at the Midi Libre, team manager Vincent Lavenu said.

Paumier beat three-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong in the final stage of the Midi Libre in May. The Tour de France starts Saturday in Luxembourg.

Lavenu said that although Paumier had a doctor’s prescription for the drug to treat a chest infection, he didn’t have approval to use the drug from the medical committee of world cycling’s governing body, the UCI.

He said AG2R was dropping Paumier in keeping with new Tour guidelines requiring teams to exclude riders involved in cases of doping.

``The teams have agreed to not present any rider when a (doping) procedure is underway,″ Lavenu said.

Paumier joined AG2R on July 1. He was riding for Saint-Quentin-Oktos when he won the Anduze to L’Esperou stage of the Midi Libre. Armstrong was the overall winner.

Paumier was replaced by Thierry Loder in AG2R’s Tour team.

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