New Positive Drug Tests from 2008 Tour de France
If I had to put money down on which riders were rumoured to have been caught, these two would have been at the top of my list. Piepoli, had already declared his guilt to the Saunier Duval team. Shortly after Ricardo Ricco had tested positive he clearly stated to his team "I have done the same as Ricco", so this really is confirmation of what we already knew.
Schumacher is the more revealing case. One of the most visible indicators of doping seems to be a large swing in performances. The German fits that description, coming out of nowhere twice to win the time trial at the Tour de France in the midst of a season of mediocre results, especially at the Olympics. While Schumacher claimed it was the heat which affected his performance It may have been more than the heat in Beijing that affected his performance (13th in the Time Trial and a non-finish in the Road Race).
Hopefully these kinds of tests can continue to be close behind, or maybe, ahead of the cheats.
Piepoli and Schumacher test positive at Tour de France
Both Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher have tested positive for the performance enhancing substance CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator) according to reports released Monday. The riders were declared positive by the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) which last week re-tested a number of blood samples taken during the Tour de France.
The Italian Piepoli tested positive twice according to a statement by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Monday. Pieopoli's results came back positive for samples taken one day prior to the Tour on July 4 and also on July 15.
During the same edition of the Tour de France, Piepoli's team-mate and stage winner Riccardo Riccò also tested positive for the third-generation EPO. As a result, team director Mauro Gianetti pulled the entire Saunier Duval team from the race.
Prior to the team's withdrawal, Piepoli won stage 10, and Riccò won stage six and stage nine of the Tour de France. Riccò confessed to CONI that he had used EPO and has since received a suspension totalling 24 months.
CONI will hold a hearing with Pieopli on Friday, October 10.
Double time trial winner positive Stefan Schumacher tested positive after being targeted by the AFLD, and was one of the riders who turned in suspicious results for the urine test for CERA, according to L'Equipe. The AFLD was unable to declare a positive from the urine results, and last month ordered blood samples delivered from Lausanne, Switzerland, corresponding to the riders with suspicious results.
The German who rides for the soon to be defunct Gerolsteiner team won both of the time trials in this year's Tour, taking the yellow jersey after his win on stage four and holding it for two days before crashing during the sprint into Super Besse on stage six. His second win came on stage 20 where he beat world champion Fabian Cancellara.
This isn't the first time that Schumacher has falled under suspicion of doping. In 2007, he showed abnormal blood values prior to the world championships. He attributed the changes to intestinal problems. Following the 2007 season, he crashed his car while under the influence of alcohol.
In 2005, he tested positive for the stimulant cathine while racing for the Shimano-Memory Corp. team. He was cleared after demonstrating that his positive came from allergy medicine prescribed to him by his mother, a physician. The medicine contained the drug, but was not on the banned substances list.