New anti-doping tests to be made on 2008 Tour de France samples
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The French Anti-Doping Agency is to reexamine samples from 15 cyclists in last year's Tour de France. The organization is looking for a recent version of EPO that wasn't detectable when the first tests were made.
REUTERS - Urine samples taken on the 2008 Tour de France cycle race will be retested in search for a new form of blood-boosting drug EPO, French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) director Pierre Bordry said on Sunday.
"Before this year's Tour start in Monaco, we warned some 15 riders that in conformity with the world anti-doping code we would analyse retrospectively samples taken on the 2008 Tour," Bordry told Reuters without naming the riders.
The testing, which will be conducted in September and October, would look mainly for CERA, a third-generation form of the banned hormone erythropoietin (EPO), he added.
CERA was first detected on the 2008 Tour in samples belonging to Italy's Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli.
Two other riders, Germany's Stefan Schumacher and Austrian Bernhard Kohl, were later found to also have taken CERA during the 2008 Tour.
"Our decision is based on a number of indications we obtained from various sources," said Bordry, adding that AFLD had no access to the biological passport implemented by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and which keeps the blood data of all professional riders.
No positive drugs test has been announced so far on the 2009 edition of the race which ends in Paris on Sunday.