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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

News Flash for May 22, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Garzelli's B sample positive

Stefano Garzelli (Mapei-Quick Step) will be forced to retire from the Giro d'Italia while in second place on the general classification, after his B sample returned a positive result for Probenecid, a banned diuretic that used to be used as a masking agent for other drugs such as steroids. Garzelli tested positive for the drug after winning stage 2 in Liege on May 13, with the news of his first sample being announced last Saturday, May 18.

The counter analysis was performed at the UCI laboratory in Lausanne, under the supervision of anti-doping chief Dr Leon Schattenberg. The test results were announced a few hours after the completion of the ninth stage by the UCI's medical inspector, Giovanni Meraviglia.

Earlier, it was found that both of Garzelli's samples taken after stage 3 (Esch-sur-Alzette) and stage 4 (Strasbourg) were negative. The question is now what were the results of any tests taken at the prologue and stage 1? If these were also negative then there some aspects of this case that are strange, given the information currently available.

According to race rules Garzelli will have to retire from the Giro, and his future as a cyclist is uncertain as he said that he would take a "long break" if his counter analysis was positive.

More news to follow.