After several riders tested positive last year for the blood-boosting drug EPO CERA, anti-doping officials will be on the lookout for the banned substance throughout the Giro d'Italia. Anti-doping agencies began catching riders for using CERA in the middle of last summer, during the Tour de France and after the Italian Grand Tour had concluded.
Race director Angelo Zomegnan confirmed earlier reports when he told the Associated Press on Friday that racers will be tested for CERA. They will also be subjected to urine tests in order to detect insulin.
Prior to the race, the 198 competitors underwent routine pre-race tests performed by the UCI. During the race, 481 anti-doping tests, including some surprise tests are planned.
Several riders tested positive for CERA last season. The winner of three Giro stages and the climber's competition, Italian Emanuele Sella, tested positive in an out-of-competition doping control issued by the UCI on July 23. Italian rider Riccardo Riccò also tested positive during the Tour de France after he won stages six and nine.