Former Saunier Duval climber Leonardo Piepoli failed to turn up for his Italian Olympic Committee (Coni) doping hearing on Wednesday, the Italian news agency Ansa reported.
Piepoli was due to face charges that he had taken the new generation of the blood booster EPO during the Tour de France in July.
The men favored to contest for the yellow jersey in the 2009 Tour de France applauded the route revealed in Paris on Wednesday, calling it “difficult, but interesting.”
The 96th edition of the Tour de France will begin on July 4 in the Mediterranean Principality of Monaco, race director Christian Prudhomme announced at the Palais des Congrès of Paris on Wednesday.
Tour de France organizers will finally end months of waiting on Wednesday by unveiling the route that they hope will provide another exciting, albeit cleaner, race for the famous yellow jersey.
In the months since Spaniard Carlos Sastre claimed overall victory, seven riders - including KOM winner Bernhard Kohl and stage winners Ricardo Riccò, Leonardo Piepoli and Stefan Schumacher - have been exposed as drugs cheats.
However a bigger question on the minds of some fans will be whether seven-time champion Lance Armstrong will take part.
Tour de France king of the mountain Bernhard Kohl admitted on Wednesday that he had doped in preparation for this year’s race.
In a Wednesday evening press conference in Vienna, Austria, Kohl took full responsibility for a “bad decision,” driven at least in part by the fear that he wouldn't land a new contract when his Gerolsteiner team announced plans to fold at the end of 2008.
Kohl denied that there was a systematic doping program at Gerolsteiner, despite the fact that his teammate, Stefan Schumacher, was also found to be positive for the new variant of EPO, known as CERA.
Austria's Bernhard Kohl will be the "seventh and last" positive doping case from this year's Tour de France, according to sports daily L'Equipe on Tuesday.
Kohl, the best climber at this year's race where he finished third overall, has become the fourth rider to test positive for CERA, a new generation of the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
In all seven riders tested positive at this year's race, which was won by Spaniard Carlos Sastre of the CSC team.
Austrian cycling star Bernhard Kohl awoke to widespread criticism in his country's press Tuesday after he became the latest rider to be snared for doping at this year's Tour de France.
A surprising third place finisher, who surprised climbing specialists by winning the King of the Mountains' polka dot jersey, Kohl on Monday was confirmed as the fourth rider - after Italians Ricardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli, and fellow Gerolsteiner teammate Stefan Schumacher - to test positive for CERA, a new generation of the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
Austrian climbing sensation Bernhard Kohl is the latest rider to test positive for CERA during this year’s Tour de France, according to France's national anti-doping agency (AFLD).
Kohl, who rode away with the best climber’s jersey and finished third overall, is the fourth rider to be caught up in the net cast by the French anti-doping authorities.
French officials, who ran an unprecedented number of anti-doping controls at this year’s Tour, are vigorously back-testing blood samples taken during July’s Tour with a new testing method to detect the third-generation blood booster.
Credit Agricole rider Dmitriy Fofonov has been handed a three-month ban after testing positive for a banned stimulant at the Tour de France.
Traces of heptaminol - which is found in products aimed at improving blood circulation - were found in a sample provided by the 31-year-old Kazakh.
He was informed of the positive test at the end of the race's 21st and final stage to the Champs Elysees, where he finished 19th overall.
French national anti-doping agency (AFLD) chief Pierre Bordry on Wednesday said there was "considerable evidence" of doping irregularities from blood transfusions taken at this year's Tour de France.
"We possess considerable evidence from blood transfusions. We will only say later who it is," Bordry told German TV station ZDF.
Bodry added that anti-doping officials were concentrating on looking for traces of banned blood booster EPO, "but we will soon be able to test the transfusions thanks to a new procedure, and we are going to do these tests.