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Tour riders to have blood samples retested

  • Story Highlights
  • Several Tour de France riders to have their blood samples retested for EPO
  • The testing involves riders already under scrutiny for suspicious urine samples
  • Moises Duenas Nevado's "B" sample from the Tour de France positive for EPO
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PARIS, France (AP) -- Several Tour de France riders are to have their blood samples retested for traces of the banned blood-booster EPO.

Moises Duenas Nevado is facing a two-year ban after failing a dope test during the Tour de France.

Moises Duenas Nevado is facing a two-year ban after failing a dope test during the Tour de France.

Pierre Bordry, the head of the French anti-doping agency, told The Associated Press that the testing involved riders who were already under scrutiny for suspicious urine samples. However, he declined to name the cyclists.

The new blood tests will look for CERA, a third-generation variation of EPO that Italian rider Riccardo Ricco tested positive for during the Tour.

"I have decided that we will retest -- with blood testing -- all those who showed up as suspicious during the urine samples," said Bordry.

"When we did the urine samples of those athletes, we had a serious suspicion that there was CERA. The laboratory could not say definitively. The same analysis will be done, but in the blood samples."

Bordry asked for the blood samples to be sent from Lausanne, Switzerland, where they were tested during the Tour.

"All the blood tests have been repatriated to France," Bordry said, adding that they are currently being examined at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory, outside Paris.

The news came after it was revealed that Spanish cyclist Moises Duenas Nevado's back-up sample from the Tour de France had come back positive for EPO.

Duenas Nevado, who has denied doping, now faces a two-year ban after his "B" sample confirmed the original "A" sample finding.

Duenas Nevado was 19th in the overall Tour standings after 10 stages when he was informed of his positive test by authorities at the hotel of his Barloworld team in the southwestern town of Tarbes.

He was immediately suspended by his team and thrown out of the race. A police search of his room found medical materials like syringes, needles and medical drip bags.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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