Cofidis jersey

Suspended prison terms have been asked for by the prosecutor for the ex-members of the Cofidis team on trial for doping, but one - Briton David Millar - will almost certainly be acquitted.

On the fourth day of the week-long trial in Paris, Nanterre, prosecutor Jacques Hossaert said that Millar and the other riders charged have ?already paid a lot.? Given it was unclear where the Scot had actually taken the banned drug EPO - Millar has said it was in Italy and Spain, but not in France - it was impossible to apply French law in the case of the former Cofidis rider.

Millar, who has already been banned from cycling for two years after his confessions of EPO use, did not wish to comment to the press on the prosecutor?s request that charges against him be dropped. Like the other nine individuals charged, the Briton could have faced up to five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros if he had been convicted.

The other six riders on trial, most of whom - like Millar - have confessed to doping, and should receive suspended sentences of between three and six months, the prosecutor said. No rider will be fined.

However, Cofidis soigneur Boguslaw Madejak, said to be the centre of the doping network inside the team, may have to return to prison. The prosecutor has requested that Madejak, who has already spent two and a half months in custody, receive a one-year sentence.

The prosecutor was devastatingly critical of the Cofidis management, saying that ?they could have done a lot more.?

The trial ends today [Friday] with the defence?s closing arguments. An actual verdict will probably not be given for at least another three weeks.

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