Spanish rider Manuel Beltran has been questioned by French police after testing positive for the banned substance EPO at this year’s Tour de France.
Beltran was drug tested before the Tour de Drogues, or Tour de France as it is sometimes known, and the authorities found an ‘anomaly’ in the test which led them to target him during the race itself. They did, and he tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO (erythropoietin).
The 37 year old Spaniard has been withdrawn from the race by his team, Liquigas, and has also been suspended from the team itself.
The authorities say that it was not just ‘traces’ of EPO found in the blood of the Spanish rider. Beltran himself says he has done nothing wrong and has requested a counter-analysis. If the second sample also proves positive, the rider will find his contract with Liquigas terminated immediately.
The Tour de France has been plagued by drugs scandals in recent years and the testing of riders has been stepped up considerably. Despite this, people still seem to take the chance in the hope of somehow getting away with it.