Vasseur backs AFLD's retesting of Tour samples

CPA President Cédric Vasseur

CPA President Cédric Vasseur (Image credit: Bjorn Haake)

Cédric Vasseur, president of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), has backed the re-examination of 2008 Tour de France anti-doping samples. The Frenchman clarified that the policy of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) gives testing officials the authority to retest samples after the conclusion of races.

"The riders know from the WADA code that samples can be re-opened and retested up to eight years after the race [at which they were taken]," Vasseur told Cyclingnews.

In July, the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) began the process of retesting samples taken from cyclists at the 2008 Tour de France. The AFLD told approximately 15 riders before the start of this year's Tour de France that their 2008 samples would be retested. It is expected to release the results of the retesting proceedure within the next two weeks.

Vasseur said that while he might hear complaints if riders are found positive, the AFLD is following the WADA's rules correctly.

"When you decide to be a professional athlete, not just a bike rider, you have to accept these rules," he said. "Although it does seem strange to test the samples so long afterwards and it would be better to catch these riders immediately after the race."

The AFLD retested some samples immediately after the race for third generation Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA. It found and announced the positives of Leonardo Piepoli, Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl.

Austrian Kohl helped the AFLD in its investigation prior to the most recent round of retesting. The retesting involves 15 of the top 20 riders, according to Italian newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Spaniard Carlos Sastre won the race by 58 seconds over Australia's Cadel Evans. Kohl finished third, but Tour organisers subsequently removed him from the results.

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