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Swiss to decide fate of star cyclist

Richard Virenque has been banned for nine months. Keystone / AP Photo

Swiss officials are meeting on Friday to decide whether to suspend the licence of the star French cyclist, Richard Virenque. It's a decision, he says, which could curtail his highly successful career.

The Swiss Cycling Federation, meeting in Bern, will decide on what action to take against Virenque – a former member of the Festina race team – after he admitted taking performance-enhancing drugs.

He could face a ban of between six and 12 months.

Virenque comes under the jurisdiction of the Swiss Cycling Federation, which will be acting on behalf of the International Cycling Union.

Virenque was cleared last week by a court in the French town of Lille of charges of supplying banned drugs to members of his Festina team before the 1998 Tour de France.

He expressed relief at his acquittal, but said he was worried he might face a second “trial” in Bern.

Virenque has a home near Geneva and holds a Swiss professional licence. He currently rides for an Italian team.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR