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by Shane Stokes
October 2, 2015
The first five riders in the general classification at the Tour de France will have their doping control samples retained for ten years in order to facilitate possible retesting.
The Cycling Anti Doping Foundation (CADF) and the UCI announced the news on Friday, meaning that the samples of Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, Alejandro Valverde, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador could be reanalysed for a decade.
The CADF director Dr Francesca Rossi gave details of the testing carried out.
“A total of 656 controls were carried out during the 2015 Tour de France. In addition, we strengthened our strategy of targeted controls thanks to the use of information provided by numerous sources and to the support of an intelligence coordinator,” she said.
“Once again, the collaboration with the French Anti-Doping Agency (Agence Franc?aise de Lutte contre le Dopage – AFLD) was excellent and the targeted control strategy was discussed daily taking into account the performance of riders and other data.”
Those 656 controls were broken down to 482 blood tests and 174 urine analyses. The former were scrutinised in relation to the biological passport and for specific anti-doping analyses.
Thus far only one positive test has been declared. Katusha rider Luca Paolini tested positive for cocaine after being subjected to a random control on July 7th during the Tour.
His sample contained the cocaine metabolite Benzoylecgonine. The news was announced during the race and he was provisionally suspended as a result.
Neither organisation have thus far indicated if any further positive tests were discovered.
CyclingTips sought clarification from both the CADF and the UCI about this and also about the Paolini B sample. A short reply was received, but only addressed the latter point.
“[The] Paolini case is still ongoing and as usual we do not offer any comment at this stage.”
According to the president of the AFLD, Bruno Genevois, the samples were all analysed at the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory in Paris. He said that this uses ‘all the latest detection methods.’
The Lausanne laboratory was also used, both for pre-competition testing and as a support laboratory during the event.
UCI President Brian Cookson described the climate between the stakeholders as excellent and congratulated the AFLD and the CADF for their work on the race.
“Thanks to the sharing of information between all anti- doping actors and a strategy focused on even more targeted controls, we can be confident of the robustness of our programme.”