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UCI goes after the "Men in Black"

The UCI has targeted "six or seven" top riders who are suspected of using doping products, by subjecting them to extra unannounced doping controls. Some of these riders have already produced "non-negative" results, according to Anne Gripper, director of the UCI's anti-doping program. "We have picked out six or seven riders who are considered high-risk cases because of their suspect behaviour and subsequent good performances in the Tour de France," she told the press agency Belga. Some of these riders "have already had three or four unannounced doping controls," although the UCI only requires one per rider per year.

Gripper said that "We have information that they train in strange places." The controllers refer to the riders as the "Men in Black", because they wear neutral clothing on their training rides, rather than their team kit, which helps them avoid attention by the UCI controllers.

"Some of the results may well be announced before the start of the Tour de France," Gripper said. "Several abnormal results have already come in. We are busy with those results and not all of them are negative," she said, "but it will take time, because we have to respect the process, the analysis of the B samples, before we can make any announcements."

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