Cristian Moreni of Cofidis has been confirmed as rider who tested positive for testosterone following the Tour de France's 11th stage on July 19. Coming just one day after news that Astana's Alexandre Vinoukourov tested positive for a blood transfusion, news of the second positive doping control hit the Tour de France when the French newspaper L'Equipe reported Wednesday afternoon that one sample from stage 11 has tested positive for testosterone. It was later announced that the rider in question was Cofidis' Cristian Moreni.
The newspaper reported that the analysis to determine if the testosterone was of exogenous origin had already been completed, and the IRMS confirmed that the chemical came not from the rider's body but from a man-made source.
The testing was performed at the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory - the same lab responsible for performing tests on Floyd Landis' 2006 Tour sample that showed a similar result. This result is the second positive of the Tour, and the third testosterone positive announced this month after Patrik Sinkewitz (T-Mobile) and Matthias Kessler (Astana).
The 2004 Italian Champion finished 102nd on the transitional stage to Montpellier, 3'20" behind winner Robert Hunter (Barloworld). In addition to his national championship win, the rider from Lombardia finished second in the 2005 Tour stage 18, in Mâcon, behind Matteo Tosatto. A B-Sample may be requested by the 34 year-old.
Moreni and the Cofidis team were part of a group of riders who staged a protest at the start of today's stage in Orthez, along with the other French teams and the Gerolsteiner squad. The teams came together to form the new 'Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible' - and stayed behind at the start and allowing the rest of the peloton to ride on ahead in protest of continued doping in the peloton, as evidenced by Vinokourov's positive test for blood transfusion.
Reported by Gregor Brown and Brecht Decaluwé in Ley.