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Cycling | International Cycling

Bernard Sainz © Gallo Images

French court seeks prison term for Sainz



A French court on Tuesday demanded a six-month prison term and €20 000 fine for former cycling medical advisor Bernard Sainz, alias Dr Mabuse, for incitement to doping.

The 73-year-old Sainz, who worked in cycling and horse racing circles, is accused of inciting amateur riders to cheat with drugs.

Deputy prosecutor Josephine Lecardeur said eight witnesses had implicated Sainz as being the kingpin in a doping network.

"It's a very remunerative activity," said Lecardeur, who claimed that €70 000 had been deposited in the account of Sainz's former wife.

Sainz was convicted on charges of incitement to doping and illegally practicing medicine during and after the 1998 Festina affair at the Tour de France during which police found a stash of performance-enhancing drugs in a team car, throwing the sport into turmoil.

"I have this diabolical caricature of godfather, but what is concrete? Nothing," insisted Sainz, who himself has no bank account.

Sainz has denied the charges, arguing that he was providing only homeopathic therapy.

"Either you have done nothing or you are very clever," said Christophe Subts, president of the court in the Normandy town of Caen.

Sainz -- known as 'Dr Mabuse' after the 1922 film depicting a fake doctor -- was sentenced to two years in prison in 2014, with 20 months suspended, for inciting doping and illegally working as a doctor.



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