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Tour de France rider whose teammate were detained denies doping

The leader of a Tour de France team caught up in a doping investigation said he had "nothing to hide" after two unnamed members of the French outfit were detained.

Colombian rider Nairo Quintana, 30, leader of the Arkea-Samsic team and winner of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, said no drugs were discovered during the investigation.

"No doping substance has ever been found," Quintana, who finished 17th at the Tour, said in a statement late on Tuesday, insisting that only "perfectly legal vitamin supplements" had been found.

"I have nothing to hide and have never had anything to hide," Quintana added.

Two people from the Arkea-Samsic team who were detained by the police on Monday were released on Tuesday. French daily Le Parisien reported that they were a doctor and physiotherapist.

DOPING METHOD

Prosecutor Dominique Laurens in the southern city of Marseille said that the two detained had "many health products including drugs in their personal belongings, but also and above all a method that can be qualified as doping".

He added that the probe was targeting a "small part" of Arkea-Samsic.

A source familiar with the matter told AFP that searches had targeted several riders, including Quintana's brother Dayer, as well as members of the medical team.

Quintana finished the Tour more than an hour behind surprise winner, 21-year-old debutant Tadej Pogacar, the youngest champion in more than a century.

Quintana's teammate Warren Barguil finished in 14th place.

This is the most significant investigation in years for the repeatedly scandal-hit Tour. - AFP

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