Six to seven riders at the Giro d'Italia 2008 are reported to have indications of the EPO derivative CERA in their retroactively tested doping samples, according to Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport.
Padua public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti ordered 82 samples to be analysed at the anti-doping laboratory of the Italian Olympic Committee's “Acqua Acetosa” training centre, which is accredited by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). The prosecutor will now cooperate with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to compare the results with data from anti-doping lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, also WADA-accredited. This should happen with the next weeks, with results to be announced within a few months.
The stored samples from the 2008 Giro were re-opened and re-tested after Emanuele Sella of Team CSF Navigare tested positive for CERA in the summer of 2008. The Italian had won three stages and the mountain jersey in the Italian Grand Tour that year.
At the time of the 2008 Giro, the test for CERA was still under development. Since then, numerous riders have tested positive for the drug, including at the Tour de France 2008 and Olympic Games in Beijing.
The 2008 Giro was won by Alberto Contador of Team Astana, followed by Riccardo Ricco (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Marzio Bruseghin of Lampre. Ricco tested positive for CERA during the Tour de France 2008 and was suspended for 20 months.
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