French anti-doping agency looking for CERA

Urine samples from the 2008 Tour de France will be re-examined by The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) according to comments made yesterday by the agency’s president Pierre Bordry.

Bordry told Reuters: “Before this year's Tour start in Monaco, we warned some 15 riders that in conformity with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, we would analyse retrospectively (the) samples taken in the 2008 Tour."

The procedure will target the third generation doping substance CERA, a form of EPO, and in previous testing four riders from the 2008 Tour de France were positive for EPO CERA - Bernard Kohl, Stefan Schumacher, Ricardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli.

“Our decision is based on a number of indications we obtained from various sources,” said Bordry, who did not name the riders whose samples will be re-tested. The new analyses are to be carried out after the summer.

The AFLD President also told Reuters that the re-testing is not related to the biological passport program of the International Cycling Union's (UCI).

Bordry's announcement comes after he told French newspaper Le Figaro that he believes new doping products may be in use in the peloton.

The AFLD and UCI worked in tandem to conduct doping controls at this year's Tour de France. And as of the final stage of racing, no rider in the 2009 Tour de France has tested positive for a banded substance.