UCI EXPECT PRE-TOUR DOPING POSITIVES

Alexandre Vinokourov Dauphine 2007 TT

Do not be surprised if there are some high profile doping cases before the start of the Tour de France in London.

According to the UCI?s chief anti-doping officer Anne Gripper, several recent out of competition tests have resulted ?non negative? and the B samples are about to be analysed. The results will be known before the start of the Tour on July 7.

As part of their increased fight against doping, the UCI have increased the number of out of competition tests before key races, with Gripper revealing they have targeted six or seven riders who gave abnormal results in earlier tests. The riders have been tested several times in recent weeks because they are targeting the Tour de France.

Gripper hit the headlines by revealing they have tracked down and tested two riders in isolated locations, while others riders have been seen training in black jerseys instead of the their trade team kit.

According to the French Equipe newspaper these so-called ?men in black? include Tour favourite Alexandre Vinokourov. In Friday?s Equipe Vino blasted the stream of doping accusations him against him and Astana but admitted he occasionally trains in black near his home in Monaco.

?They?re trying to scare us but I?m not worried, we haven?t done anything wrong,? Vino said.

?The people who are trying to destroy me should know that I?m a survivor and that I?ll never give up.?

?It?s time to stop all the fantasising and the accusations. If I wear a black jersey it?s only when training near home on the Cote d?Azur to avoid being noticed by the local riders. I can?t train for the Tour if I?ve got 20 riders on my wheel for hours. I?m not the only one to do it. Lance Armstrong did it when he was training and nobody said anything and world champion Paolo Bettini doesn?t wear his rainbow jersey sometimes.?

Vino admitted he has undergone three out-of-competition tests this year before Fleche-Wallonne, during a training camp in Tenerife in April and more recently at home in Monaco in June.

When asked if he works with Dr Ferrari, Vinokourov cleverly dodged the question but confirmed he will sign the UCI?s ?Riders commitment to a new cycling? document, where riders promise to hand over a year?s salary if they are caught doping.

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