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Sports

'No positive drug tests' at 2013 Tour de France

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2013-08-21

Cycling authorities said Tuesday that comprehensive sampling found no positive drug test results at the 2013 Tour de France, a competition that has been rocked by doping scandals in recent years.

The 2013 Tour de France had no positive drug test results, the International Cycling Union (ICU) announced on Tuesday during a media event in Aigle, Switzerland.

The announcement was welcome news for the cycling world, which has been rocked by doping scandals and saw US rider Lance Armstrong stripped of seven Tour de France titles last year.

“This is good news, but it is not surprising,” Bernard Thévenet, a former Tour de France winner, told FRANCE 24. “The cheaters were caught, and now the riders and their staff no longer take those risks.”

The Cycling Anti-doping Foundation (CADF) took 622 blood and urine samples during the 100th edition of the Tour, the ICU said in a statement on its website.

Anti-doping officials took 202 samples before the race and a further 419 samples during the June 29 to July 21 competition.

“This target testing strategy has been hugely facilitated by the excellent on-site cooperation between CADF and French Anti-Doping Agency during the race,” said CADF director Francesca Rossi.

The samples were analysed by laboratories in France, Switzerland and Germany, she added.

Samples to be kept eight years

2013 Tour winner Chris Froome, who was quizzed by the media on a daily basis, had expressed frustration over constant questions about doping.

“He was right to be angry about all the doping questions. There were very few questions about his actual performance” said Thévenet, “Today’s announcement shows that doping is no longer part of the Tour. The riders have learned their lesson.”

But Cycling authorities appeared more guarded than Thévenet about the presence of doping in the sport.

The CADF’s Rossi refused to say that this year’s Tour de France was completely “clean”, acknowledging that doping agents and methods were often well ahead of testing methods.

The UCI and French anti-doping authorities have agreed to keep the samples taken for eight years, with the possibility of retrospective testing in the future.

Date created : 2013-08-21

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