Ricardo Serrano (Kaiku) has become the latest rider to fail the UCI blood controls. Serrano was one of 32 riders tested on Wednesday morning before the start of the Vuelta a Murcia, but his HR-OFF score was over the limit. He was told to rest for two weeks for health reasons, and will have to pass another test in order to race again. A high HR-OFF score is considered suggestive, but is not proof, of blood doping. It is also far less arbitrary than the 50 percent haematocrit limit.
Kaiku issued a statement in response to Serrano's failed health test, expressing its support for the rider. "Serrano gave correct haematocrit and haemoglobin values, but his "Australian formula" score - which compares the haemoglobin and reticulocytes values - was over the limit." Kaiku expressed its "complete support" for Serrano and the team's doctors, "who have always showed their professionalism in an area that the team, during its year and a half of existence, has never had a problem with and has passed every drug test that has been carried out to date."
Riders from Unibet.com, Lampre and Liberty Seguros were also tested.