Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Iñigo Landaluze and Fuji-Servetto rider Ricardo Serrano
have both tested positive for the banned blood boosting drug, EPO.
Landaluze, who is not racing the Tour de France, twice failed anti-doping tests during this year’s Dauphine Libere in June, once during the race and once a few days later.
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Serrano tested positive for EPO following a doping control during this year’s Tour of Switzerland, however, traces of CERA were also found in his blood taken in a pre Giro test on May seventh.
Landaluze’s one victory to date was in the 2005 Dauphine Libere, which he won after getting in a break on a transition stage which unexpectedly stayed away to the finish.
Part of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team since he turned pro in 2001, Landaluze has already had problems of a similar nature when he failed an ‘A’ test for testosterone. He was cleared on a technicality after appealing against a ban.
Other Euskaltel-Euskadi riders who have failed anti-doping tests in the past include Txema del Olmo, who was one of the first riders to test positive for EPO, during the 2001 Tour.
Then in 2004 one of their riders, Gorka Gonzalez, was unable to start the Tour because of anomalies in the pre-race health checks.
Landaluze has apparently recognised his guilt, and will not ask for the ‘B’ test to be carried out. Both riders have been provisionaly suspended by the UCI pending a ruling from the Spanish Cycling Federation.