Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Tour de Dope

Tour de France rider Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for a banned blood transfusion after winning last weekend's time trial at the Tour de France, prompting his Astana team to pull out of the race Tuesday and police to raid the team hotel. Vinokourov, a pre-race favorite, also won Monday's 15th stage and was 23rd in the overall tour standings. Vinokourov's backup B-sample test results are expected by the end of the week. "Alexandre denies having manipulated his blood," Biver said, adding that the rider believes that "blood anomalies in his body" may have resulted from a crash he was involved in last week. About 30 police officers, some in plain clothes, descended on Astana's La Palmeraie hotel in Pau and sealed it off, preventing more members of the team from leaving. A senior French anti-doping official confirmed to The Associated Press that there was a positive test for a blood transfusion taken from a rider at the Tour on Saturday. He said the test found two different types of blood, one from the rider, one from a donor.

If Vinokourov thinks he is in trouble now, wait until he finds out that the blood donor was Magic Johnson.

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