AFLD discovers protocol to mask EPO, will work with authorities
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Thursday, April 08, 2010

AFLD discovers protocol to mask EPO, will work with authorities

by VeloNation Press at 10:14 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

The head of the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), Pierre Bordry, said Thursday that the investigation into the Ukrainian U23 team from last year's Tour de l'Avenir has uncovered a protocol that will hide the presence of EPO in anti-doping controls.

At the time, two of the three members of the Ukrainian team admitted to blood doping and using the banned blood-boosting drug EPO. A total of 143 vials were seized during the operation, and now the French laboratory has released their latest findings.

"For them it looked absolutely normal to dope," Besancon substitute prosecutor Margaret Parietti told The Associated Press last September. "They explained that they had to dope to recover from their efforts."

"The customs officials found used syringes with blood on them, they found Actovegin - which is an oxygen-carrier that can also mask the use of forbidden substances," she said.

According to TSRSport, Bodry said the Ukrainian doping scandal revealed last September helped uncover "protocols" developed by "organized networks" that allow athletes to dope without testing positive for EPO. While in police custody the riders said "they were heavily doped, especially with EPO", but Bordry said during a news conference that their tests had been negative because of the special kits they discovered for each of the cyclists.

"The big change is that it appears increasingly clear that we can, using the protocols, have a negative analysis for a rider that has doped [with EPO]", acknowledged Bodry.

"It is not one substance, but several substances whose effects are combined," he added. "At the same time, they pay attention to how much of each substance is administered so it is at a level that is very difficult to detect," explained Michel Rieu, a consultant for the AFLD.

Rieu said that these protocols are too complex for the 19-20 year old kids to develop, and is confident the work was done by an advanced network of criminals who provide protocols for athletes to evade positive tests. Now the AFLD has signed an "agreement to exchange information" with the police and Interpol in order to help close in on the organized networks responsible.

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