Did Stefan Schumacher get a letter from the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) during the Tour de France, saying that there were problems with his blood values? The rider and his Team Gerolsteiner say no, but the AFLD says yes.
Whether or not he got the letter is not so important, said AFLD director Pierre Bordry. "This question ignores the central problem – Schumacher had two positives for CERA in tests made 10 days apart. That is all that matters."
Schumacher, 27, tested positive for CERA, a new form of EPO, on July 4 and July 15 at the Tour de France.
Bordry told the "Süddeutsche Zeitung" that after doing blood tests on all 180 riders before the Tour, his agency handed out letters to 22 riders whose blood values showed irregularities. The letters were hand-delivered to the riders.
Schumacher did not receive such a letter, his attorney Michael Lehner claimed, and all of his blood values were normal. Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who has said he will sue Schumacher for damages relating to the doping problem, confirmed that the rider's blood values were "always in the normal range" and that he knew nothing about an AFLD letter. (SW)