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DNA testing not expected before Tour start

The main bunch at the 2006 Tour de France

The main bunch at the 2006 Tour de France (Image credit: Jon Devich)

By Shane Stokes in London

Tour de France race organiser ASO announced recently that it will require all Tour riders to have signed the UCI's Rider's Commitment for a Clean Cycling, thereby vowing to race clean, to submit a DNA sample if required and to pay a year's salary if they test positive or are proven to be part of a doping affair. It seems unlikely however that any DNA matching will be done straight away.

Comparing riders' blood, saliva or hair samples with the bags of blood seized during the Operción Puerto swoop last May would pinpoint some of those who were involved with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. This is what happened with Jan Ullrich, confirming that his blood was in the clinic in Madrid.

While it would be ideal to know that none of the riders in this Tour were involved, it appears that this is something that will happen down the line rather than sooner.

"I don't think testing will be done straight away," UCI anti-doping chief Anne Gripper told Cyclingnews on Thursday. "We have to go through a judicial procedure to get the DNA [from the bags of blood in Madrid] and that will take time."

Meanwhile Astana rider Andreas Klöden has said that he has never doped and is tired of questioning about such matters.

"I do not have anything to hide, you must me believe when I promise you that I never did anything forbidden," he said in the German newspaper Die Welt on Thursday. "Since eleven years of age I have always been the best in my age categories. I have worked hard and did not suddenly become good. I have continuously progressed without doping but despite all that, I am still suspected. That tires me."

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