Jalabert tests positive for EPO at 1998 Tour de France

French cyclist Laurent Jalabert tested positive for EPO from a sample taken at the 1998 Tour de France according to L'Equipe on Monday.

A retroactive inquiry done on Jalabert's urine sample by the French Anti-Doping Agency AFLD in 2004 resulted in the positive EPO test according to L'Equipe. The retroactive testing was part of a French Senate inquiry on how effective the fight against doping has been in France.  The Senate is expected to release its full report on July 18.

There was no test to detect EPO in 1998, and almost all urine samples tested six years after the fact came up positive for EPO.  Names of other riders whose samples tested positive have not yet been released.

Jalabert testified to the French Senate in May.  He couldn't firmly say that he had not doped, but said that he trusted his team's staff with the injections and medications he was receiving.  He was recently the French National Team coach, but stepped down in April.

1998 was the year the Festina team left the Tour after a doping scandal. It was also the year that the late Marco Pantani won the Tour.

During his pro career, Jalabert raced for Toshiba, ONCE and Team CSC. He was the time trial world champion in 1997 and the French road race national champion in 1998. He won four Tour de France stages, three Giro d'Italia stages and 18 Vuelta a Espana stages, including the overall of the latter in 1995.

L'Equipe promised more details coming in its paper on Tuesday.

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