Tour Riders Balk at Retroactive Testing

French Senate plans to release 1998 dopers' names

Lance Armstrong and Marco Pantani climb together during the Tour.     Photo: placid casual/Flickr

The Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA) is opposing the French Senate's plan to release the names of riders who tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France. Releasing the list would be a "serious violation of fundamental rights of riders," the group said in a press release on Thursday.

During the 1998 Tour, there was no test for EPO. But samples stored from the race were retroactively tested in 2004. And in August of 2005, it was announced that there were 40 positives from the race. The French Senate has ordered that the riders be identified, but the body delayed the decree until after the conclusion of this year's Tour.

The CPA claims that since only a small proportion of riders were tested, the named athletes would be condemned while others who escaped testing would be untainted by the findings.

The agency went further to say that the publication of names "would have undeniable and irreversible impact on the reputation of the riders complained of, and on their current and future work. And while the against-analysis seem excluded. The publication of a list would be tantamount to an accusation of doping without any possibility of defense!”

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