EPO, No Not Racing This Time

The Tour De France has been fighting some major negative publicity. Each year more and more riders seem to be under the microscope. This year was hailed as a year that the message was getting through - no more blood doping, please!

But unfortunately not. Not one, but two riders have been suspended for EPO.

French police detained Spanish cyclist Moises Duenas Nevado on Wednesday after he tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO during the Tour de France.

Police detained Duenas Nevado, who rides for Barloworld and was 19th overall in the Tour, from a hotel in the town of Tarbes, where his team stayed. He remained in custody Wednesday for questioning, notably about where he may have obtained EPO, a police official said.

It was the second positive EPO test this year involving a Tour rider, in a sport whose image has been long tarnished by drug use and other cheating. Spanish veteran Manuel Beltran — a former teammate of seven-time Tour champion Lance Armstrong — was sent home for testing positive for EPO after the first stage this year.

Pierre Bordry, head of the French anti-doping agency, said Duenas Nevado tested positive after the fourth stage on July 8 at Cholet, the site of the race's first time trial. The doping agency has replaced the International Cycling Union in handling doping controls at the Tour for the first time this year.

International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said he felt "great anger once again."

"I just can't understand when are these guys are going to learn," McQuaid told The Associated Press by telephone. "If the 'B' sample is positive, then all I can say is the guy's a fool. The net is closing in."

It appears they have a long way to go. The lure of riches and the lure of fame seem to be too much for some.

I guess the sad thing with EPO is, in racing the participants are not willing subjects, in cycling they are.

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