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Blood doping kits reportedly found at Astana

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-12-23

Blood transfusion kits were discovered in medical equipment belonging to Astana during the Tour de France 2009, according to media reports. Blood transfusion is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

AFP - Blood doping kits were discovered in a search of medical equipment belonging to Lance Armstrong's former Astana team during this year's Tour de France.

Blood transfusion is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

The find, which was first reported by French newspaper Le Monde, was confirmed on Wednesday to AFP by a source close to a French judicial investigation.

The source stressed that the initial inquiry by a Paris magistrates' court was continuing and that it was premature to suggest the equipment might constitute illegal activity.

The court in Paris opened its inquiry in July after the discovery during the Tour de France won by Armstrong's teammate Alberto Contador of medical equipment such as "syringes and perfusions".

The source added: "No trace of any doping product has for the time being been uncovered by the analysis of this material" belonging to Astana.

According to Le Monde antihypertensives (drugs that reduce high blood pressure) were also found at Astana during the search.

These drugs are not banned but can be used to treat hypertension associated with the practise of blood transfusions or the administering of the banned blood booster EPO.

Analysis of other products and equipment taken by investigators is continuing, the source said, adding that tests had indicated "seven different genetic profiles".

Identification of these profiles can only be made if and when the International Cycling Union hands over riders' blood profiles to French justice.

While Contador will race for Astana next year Armstrong, who claimed third behind the Spaniard in the Tour de France, has left to form his own team, RadioShack.
 

Date created : 2009-12-23

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