17 riders subject to retesting for EPO-CERA, all return negative result
The French anti-doping Authority (AFLD) announced today that retesting of 17 samples from the 2008 Tour de France has revealed no new doping cases.
The AFLD's Director Pierre Bordry made the announcement at a press conference in Paris and said that the samples of 17 riders had been retested for the presence of third generation Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA. Bordry said that all of the samples had returned negative results.
“The 17 retested controls were negative. It was not our goal to find anything.” said Bordry, according to German press agency dpa.
The AFLD did not release the names of the riders whose samples were tested.
In 2008, four riders were found to have used EPO-CERA during that year's Tour de France. Riccardo Riccò was ejected from the event, while Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl were subsequently disqualified after test results confirmed that they had used the illegal blood booster. Italian Leonardo Piepoli, who had left the race along with Riccò and the rest of their Saunier Duval team, was also found to have doped with EPO-CERA.
The AFLD had been solely responsible for testing throughout the 2008 Tour de France. In 2009, it worked in co-operation with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to conduct anti-doping controls during the race.
Prior to this year's Tour de France the AFLD informed a group of approximately 15 riders that their samples from the 2008 Tour would be subject to retesting.
In a report published by Austrian newspaper Kurier on Sunday Bordry had said: “Before the start of this year's Tour in Monaco, we informed about 15 riders that they samples from 2008 would be re-analysed. We expect to be able to announce the results within one to two weeks.”
The AFLD gave no indication as to whether the negative results announced today were from that group of riders.
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