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CERA tests on Tour samples to commence Monday

The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) will begin analysing blood samples from the Tour de France on Monday, according to AFP. The agency will test the samples for the novel EPO, CERA, with a test refined by the Châtenay-Malabry, said AFLD chairman Pierre Bordry.

"Since L'Equipe revealed that the retrospective analysis would take place, we worked to surround the process with great scientific and legal security," said Bordry.

Italian Riccardo Riccò was found positive for the CERA during the Tour de France this year, but that test was performed on the riders' urine. The blood test is supposed to be more efficient in detecting the drug. The AFLD has requested blood samples from the Lausanne laboratory, which performed testing during the Tour, for several riders who showed 'suspicious' blood values in pre-competition screens.

Among them, reported AFP, is the Italian Leonardo Piepoli, who was sacked from his team after Riccò's positive, for "violations of the team's ethical code".

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