Lithuanian cyclist's wife freed from French jail

  • 2002-10-17

A French judge last week freed Lithuanian Edita Rumsiene, the wife of Tour de France third place finisher Raimondas Rumsas, on 20,000 euro bail.

Rumsiene had been held in a prison in the French town of Bonneville since she was arrested in late July after border guards found drugs, including performance-enhancing steroids, in her car on the final day of the race. Guards found 37 different forms of medication, including corticoids, testosterone, growth hormones and anabolic steroids.

Rumsiene told investigators that the drugs were for her mother, who is undergoing treatment for cancer.

She was released from jail Oct. 10.

Rumsiene's lawyer Veronique Coudray, said the 28-year-old Lithuanian intends to go to Italy where her husband and children live.

Three separate tests on Rumsas, including one after the drugs were found, were all negative.

Rumsas has filed a defamation lawsuit against the French judge handling his wife's case over comments he made to the online Swiss newspaper earlier this month questioning the cyclist's integrity, Agence France-Presse reported Oct. 11.

"An accusation like this cannot go unanswered because it is serious and because an investigating magistrate should not get involved like this in the matter," AFP quoted Rumsas' lawyer Alexandre Varat as saying.

Varat said Rumsas was asking for a token 1 euro in damages.

The judge has also angered the International Cycling Union by reportedly accusing the sport's governing body of not doing all it could to combat doping.