We’ve known for some weeks now that the Tour de France organisers have been re-examining a bunch of samples from the 2008 race, and recent indications were that 14 of these were sent for detailed analysis to look for traces of the EPO variant of choice in the prop peleton, CERA. Athletes had believed that various characteristics of CERA, and its dosage regime would render it undetectable.
That this was wildly optimistic was revealed by a series of positive tests, as reported by cyclingnews.com.
Leonardo Piepoli (Saunier Duval) originally confessed to EPO doping when his arrogant young team mate Riccardo Ricco tested positive for CERA after winning two stages (and placing second in the 2008 Giro). He then recanted when hauled in fron of CONI, and denied everything. Well, he’s now got his comeuppance.
Stefan Schumacher had a great tour, winning both time trial stages, despite crashing heavily. He had previously returned abnormal blood values (in prior events). First tests on urine samples were unclear – this positive follows blood tests.
Apparently the addition of a polyethylene glycol molecule to EPO (which is the distinguishing feature of the CERA form of EPO) is supposed to make it persist in the body longer and thereby render it undetectable.
WELL THINK AGAIN, DOPER TWERPS! WE GOTCHA!
For what it’s worth, we use polyethylene glycol (PEG) in the lab, and I for one wouldn’t inject it into my blood stream. These boys are so very stupid it hurts.
Do we now wait with bated breath for another 12 positives? Ah, the new oh-so-clean pro peleton.