Minister decries 'witch hunt' at Tour de France

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BASTIA, Corsica (AP)

France's sports minister has railed against a ''witch hunt'' targeting Tour de France cyclists who feel they're unfairly being lumped in with their predecessors who engaged in widespread doping years ago.

Valerie Fourneyron met with some Tour competitors before Saturday's race start in Corsica.

Some riders worry that a French Senate report on doping expected to be released days before the Tour finish could revive memories of cycling's darkest days of doping in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Fourneyron said some riders feel ''a media lynching'' is going on about past doping cases. This is the first Tour after Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven titles for doping.

She added: ''The Tour de France is not just about doping, and doping isn't just at the Tour de France.''

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