Tour de France cyclist Remy Di Gregorio appeared in court in Marseille on Thursday and was charged with doping-related offences, his lawyer announced.
The 26-year-old French rider is in the dock for possession of unauthorised medical equipment.
Emerging from the hearing Domnique Mattei, Di Gregorio's lawyer confirmed: "He was charged with being in possession of supposed doping products."
A Marseille-based doctor who was also arrested has since admitted mixing blood from Di Gregorio with ozone and reinjecting it in a bid to improve the cyclist's performance.
The doctor, 75, is facing charges of "using banned substances or procedures on an athlete" and "the illegal practice of medicine" and remains in custody.
The equipment found in Di Gregorio's possession was a glucose injection kit, which requires prior medical justification during competition, Marseille magistrate Jacques Dallest said.
If found guilty the cyclist risks a one year prison sentence and 3,750 euro fine, Dallest told a press conference.
Di Gregorio, who has been suspended by his Cofidis team following his arrest Tuesday and has dropped out of the Tour de France, admits receiving injections, but denies any charges of doping.
Di Gregorio told the waiting media after the hearing: "I can assure you that I have never doped, except if someone tricked me. The people who support me should know that I can look myself in the mirror, justice will do the rest."
He added: "Unfortunately the Tour is over, but the hardest thing is over and I still have the future in front of me."
Mattei challenged the decision to charge the cyclist.
He said: "What is the line between a high level physical preparation advised by experts and doping....?
"What is regrettable is that Mr Di Gregorio has been suspended from the Tour de France while there is no certainty that he has taken doping products."
Di Gregorio was arrested following a police raid at his team's hotel in Bourg-en-Bresse outside Macon in eastern France on Tuesday as part of an investigation into the organised trafficking of doping substances.
He was taken to Marseille for further questioning along with two other men, who were suspected of "having dealings" with Di Gregorio.
One of the two other men was released on Wednesday. He had been in possession of vitamins, nutritional supplements, blood transfusion kits and other products which are still being analysed.
"This individual was a friend who had come from Marseille to drop off the products, bought by the rider over the internet," said Dallest.
Cofidis, who had suffered doping scandals because of unscrupulous riders in the past, pledged to sack Di Gregorio if charges of doping or attempted doping are confirmed.
"If the suspicions are confirmed, he will be sacked immediately in accordance with the stipulations in his contract and in line with the ethical policy of the team," a Cofidis team statement said.
Ozone - the product at the centre of the case - is used for purification purposes at both medical and industrial level but its therapeutic, or performance-enhancing uses remain a subject of debate.
But for Dallest it amounts to prohibited doping methods.
"We're talking about medical or paramedical practices which are prohibited. We might not be dealing with a doping substance, but the method is prohibited, said the magistrate.
At least four injections were carried out on Di Gregorio between the end of May and the end of June, Dallest said.
He added that the doctor, who has an office in Marseille, led a "luxury lifestyle" and that 26,000 euros in cash had been found at his home after it was raided by police.
Source: AFP Global Edition