Cyclingnews.com reports that another of the Tour de France follow up tests for CERA has turned up positive. (Or in the rather amusing terminology of professional cycling, “non-negative”). This time it’s Bernhard Kohl, a team mate of fellow drugs cheat Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner). Of course, the B sample still has to be analysed – presumably if it is in agreement with the A sample, he’ll no longer be “non-negative” but will be positive. Kohl finished in third place overall, and also won the King of the Mountains jersey (after Riccardo Ricco was disgraced by failing a CERA test during the event).
What remains to be seen is whether German cycle sport (Kohl is I think Austrian, but the team is German) can survive this blow, after a series of high profile doping positives over the last couple of years.
Schumacher’s defence team apear to be taking the traditional aproach of trying to rubbish both the testing lab and the test, and identifying procedural flaws. Unfortunately for them, the test was developed in collaboration with the company that developed CERA, and is pretty likely to be as watertight as these things can be.
[update 14/10/08 – cyclingnews.com reports Kohl’s B test also positive for CERA, so I guess he’s positive, not “non-negative”. A later report from cyclingnews.com suggests the second positive is actually a separate A sample – so double “non-negative” rather than positive]