Tour team cuts ties to ex-rider after drugs report

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PARIS (AP) -- Tour de France team Omega Pharma-Lotto has severed ties with Wim Vansevenant after news reports linked the ex-rider with doping products.

General manager Geert Coeman says Vansevenant worked "sporadically" for the team as a driver and was to drive for the team for one week at the three-week Tour, which starts Saturday.

In a statement Wednesday on the team's website, Coeman expresses surprise at Belgian newspaper reports in which Vansevenant is accused of ordering banned products, which then were intercepted by airport customs agents in Zaventem, Belgium.

Speaking to Belgian newspaper De Standaard, Vansevenant says he ordered a "food supplement" over the Internet because he felt "old and tired." He denies trying to buy doping products.

De Standaard reported that the product was called TB-500 -- which is used to stimulate muscle growth in horses.