Cycling News Flash for July 25, 2007
Edited by Laura Weislo with assistance from Susan Westemeyer
Moreni positive for testosterone
Cofidis' Cristian Moreni
Photo ©: AFP
Cristian Moreni of Cofidis has been confirmed as rider who tested positive
for testosterone following the Tour de France's 11th stage on July 19.
Coming just one day after news that Astana's Alexandre Vinoukourov tested
positive for a blood transfusion, news of the second positive doping control
hit the Tour de France when the French newspaper L'Equipe reported
Wednesday afternoon that one sample from stage 11 has tested positive
for testosterone. It was later announced that the rider in question was
Cofidis' Cristian Moreni.
The newspaper reported that the analysis to determine if the testosterone
was of exogenous origin had already been completed, and the IRMS confirmed
that the chemical came not from the rider's body but from a man-made source.
The testing was performed at the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory - the same
lab responsible for performing tests on Floyd Landis' 2006 Tour sample
that showed a similar result. This result is the second positive of the
Tour, and the third testosterone positive announced this month after Patrik
Sinkewitz (T-Mobile) and Matthias Kessler (Astana).
The 2004 Italian Champion finished 102nd on the transitional stage to
Montpellier, 3'20" behind winner Robert Hunter (Barloworld). In addition
to his national championship win, the rider from Lombardia finished second
in the 2005 Tour stage 18, in Mâcon, behind Matteo Tosatto. A B-Sample
may be requested by the 34 year-old.
Moreni and the Cofidis team were part of a group of riders who staged
a protest at the start of today's stage in Orthez, along with the other
French teams and the Gerolsteiner squad. The teams came
together to form the new 'Mouvement pour un cyclisme crédible' - and
stayed behind at the start and allowing the rest of the peloton to ride
on ahead in protest of continued doping in the peloton, as evidenced by
Vinokourov's positive test for blood transfusion.
Reported by Gregor Brown and Brecht Decaluwé in Ley.
Explosions along Tour route
There was scary news of a completely different being reported from Wednesday's
Tour stage. A bomb threat called in to authorities, as reported by Cadena
Ser radio, saying that several explosive devices had been placed along
the Tour's route through Spain. The station's internet site reported that
a small explosion took place in the woods close to the town of Belagua,
about 50 metres from the road. The race had already passed by when the
explosions occured and no one was injured in the blasts.
According to Vasco Press, the Basque separatist organisation ETA
has been named in the incident.
Vinokourov: 'I never doped'
Vinokourov told the French sports daily L'Equipe in Wednesday's
edition that he had not cheated. "It's a mistake. I never doped, that's
not the way I see my profession," the newspaper quoted him as saying.
"I think it's a mistake in part due to my crash. I have spoken to the
team doctors who had a hypothesis that there was an enormous amount of
blood in my thighs, which could have led to my positive test."
Vinokourov claimed to be the victim of a "provocation." "It's been going
on for months and today they're managing to demolish me," he said. "The
setting up of our team made a lot of people jealous and now we're paying
the price. It's a shame to leave the Tour this way, but I don't want to
waste time in proving my innocence."
Vinokourov did manage a joke about his situation. "I heard that I made
a transfusion with my father's blood," Vinokourov said. "That's absurd,
I can tell you that with his blood, I would have tested positive for vodka."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2007)