By VeloNews Interactive Wire Services, Copyright AFP 2001
French veteran rider Pascal Herve has been pulled out of the Giro d’Italia by his team after he tested positive for a controlled substance on Tuesday, Alexia team officials announced.
“Herve has been pulled out while we wait for a second analysis to show that he knows nothing about this whole affair,” his team announced.
The 37-year-old Herve, a former Festina rider, is no stranger to doping. He was suspended at the start of this year after he finally admitted during last October’s Festina court trial that he had systematically taken EPO while a member of Festina.
Herve was thought to be one of the riders picked at random, apart from the seven race leaders, to be tested by the UCI officials early on Tuesday morning.
The first seven riders in the Giro d’Italia standings underwent random dope tests on the three-week race’s only rest day.
Italian race leader Gilberto Simoni of the Lampre team and the next six best-placed riders were visited at their team hotels and asked to provide a urine sample. All samples will be sent for analysis to the Lausanne laboratory, which is specially equipped to test for EPO using the method created by French scientists and which the UCI brought into force on April 1.
The other six riders tested apart from Simoni were Italians Dario Frigo (2nd) and Andrea Noe (7th), Spaniards Abraham Olano (3rd) and Unai Osa (4th), Ukrainian Serhiy Honchar (5th) and Portuguese Jose Azevedo (6th).
It is not known how many other riders, apart from Herve, were picked at random.
Copyright AFP 2001