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Sunday, July 26, 2009
French agency to retest '08 samples

Associated Press

PARIS -- The French anti-doping agency will retest some blood samples from last year's Tour de France, mainly for the banned blood-booster CERA.

About 15 riders will be affected by the retesting, AFLD president Pierre Bordry said Sunday. He refused to identify the riders, but said they had been informed of the proceedings before the start of this year's Tour in Monaco.

The retesting will be conducted in September and October.

"We have obtained information concerning those riders and we are going to retest their samples" Bordry told The Associated Press by phone. "We didn't want to do it during the Tour because it could have disturbed the competition."

No positive test has been announced so far on this year's Tour, which ends Sunday on the Champs-Elysees.

"It's far too early to report on the testing because we haven't received all the test results yet," Bordry said.

Pat McQuaid, the president of cycling's governing body, has already said that all samples from this year's Tour would be stored and could be retested in the future.

Last year, 38 samples from about 30 riders were retested for CERA, a new advanced form of the endurance-boosting drug EPO.

Six competitors were caught by doping testers -- four for using CERA. They included third-place finisher Bernhard Kohl, and three others -- Italians Leonardo Piepoli and Riccardo Ricco and Germany's Stefan Schumacher -- who combined to win five of the 21 stages.