All 170 riders in the Vuelta a España have been tested by anti-doping authorities on Thursday, two days before the race starts in Granada. The organiser, Unipublic, also indicated that the race would be the first Grand Tour to make use of the UCI's 'biological passport.'
The Tour de France, which was not sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and did not receive access to the passport data, used comparisons between values taken before the start of the race and those taken during the event to look for indications of doping. Riders with suspicious values were subjected to additional testing during that race. Those additional controls resulted in two of the four doping positives during the Tour.
The Vuelta, on the other hand, is being governed by the UCI and will require that all teams have their passport data up to date. "All riders will have to have their biological passports in order," stated Vuelta managing director Victor Cordero. "The laboratory in Madrid also has the capability to test for CERA." CERA, or its trade name Mircera, is a new type of EPO for which Riccardo Riccò tested positive for during the Tour de France.