18 Positives, 12 Suspicious from 1998 Tour

French Senate releases full list

Cipollini racing the 1996 Tour de France.     Photo: Numerius/Flickr

A report from the French Senate released today has identified 18 positive and 12 suspicious test results from the 1998 Tour de France. Among the riders testing positive for EPO or with suspicious values are the entire race podium of Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich, and Bobby Julich; Erik Zabel, the race's green jersey winner; Mario Cipollini, one of the most winning sprinters in history, and Abraham Olano, winner of the 1998 Vuelta a Espana.

Contrary to the report released by Le Monde third-place finisher Julich did not test positive for EPO but is included on a list of riders with suspicious results.

Responding on Twitter, Garmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters, an anti-doping advocate, wrote: “Re ’98 tests:small percentage of guys were tested. Smaller% were still taking epo after police raids started. Names in report? Meaningless.”

Vaughters went on to clarify that the Festina Affair of 1998 likely lowered the number of riders taking EPO in the race and had testing been done three to four days before the scandal, "100% of participants would be positive. But due to testing constraints only certain names [were] revealed."

The full list of positives include the following riders: Andrea Tafi, Erik Zabel, Bo Hamburger (twice), Laurent Jalabert, Marcos Serrano, Jens Heppner, Jeroen Blijlevens, Nicola Minali, Mario Cipollini, Fabio Sacchi, Eddy Mazzoleni, Jacky Durand, Abraham Olano, Laurent Desbiens, Marco Pantani, Manuel Beltran, Jan Ullrich (twice), and Kevin Livingston (twice).

Riders on the suspicious list include Ermanno Brignoli, Alain Turicchia, Pascal Chanteur, Frederic Moncassin, Bobby Julich, Roland Meier, Giuseppe Calcaterra, Stefano Zanini, Eddy Mazzoleni, Stephane Barthe, Stuart O'Grady, and Axel Merckx.

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