7 Oct 2008

Two cyclists caught for new generation EPO

8:18 am on 7 October 2008

Reports in Europe say the German cyclist Stefan Schumacher, a double stage winner at this year's Tour de France, has tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO.

Schumacher caused a minor sensation at this year's race when he won both time trials, both times leaving Switzerland's two-time world champion Fabian Cancellara in his wake.

According to L'Equipe, Schumacher's urine samples from the Tour were suspect although it took a recently-pioneered blood test for a new generation EPO called CERA to prove his guilt.

Schumacher is the second rider named today to be caught, following the Italian Olympic Committee's announced that Leonardo Piepoli, who won the race's 10th stage, also tested for CERA.

Piepoli, a specialist climber, was a key helper of former Saunier Duval teammate Riccardo Ricco, who last week was banned for 20 months after testing positive for CERA at the Tour, where he won two stages.

During the Tour de France only four drugs cheats were snared.