Blood Samples From Tour de France Retested for EPO

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Riders could face a nervous wait over the next two weeks as the French anti-doping agency retests blood samples from this year's Tour de France in a bid to catch more cyclists using the banned blood booster EPO.

More than six weeks after the doping-marred Tour ended, AFLD chief Pierre Bordry announced that his lab is retesting blood samples from cyclists it suspects may have used CERA -- a third-generation form of EPO -- during the showcase event.

Bordry said yesterday that the testing concerned several riders who were already under scrutiny for suspicious urine samples that hinted strongly at EPO usage.

· PRO BASKETBALL: The battered reputation of Josh Howard took another hit this week when an online video surfaced showing the Dallas Mavericks forward disrespecting the national anthem.

In a video posted on YouTube, Howard is shown on a football field at a charity flag football game. As the national anthem plays in the background, Howard approaches a camera and says: " 'The Star-Spangled Banner' is going on right now. I don't even celebrate that [expletive]. I'm black."

In an e-mail, Mavericks owner Mark Cuban declined to comment.

· COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Two suspended Penn State players were charged with one count each of possession of a small amount of marijuana.

University police filed misdemeanor charges against defensive linemen Maurice Evans and Abe Koroma, who have been held out of the past two games by Coach Joe Paterno. . . .

Western Athletic Conference Commissioner Karl Benson said the replay official in last Saturday's Wisconsin-Fresno State game made a mistake when he overturned a fumble call.

Leading 10-0, Wisconsin appeared to be in position to get another score when the Badgers' DeAndre Levy recovered a fumble by Devon Wylie at the Fresno State 26 in the third quarter. But the call was overturned on a replay review, ruled an incomplete pass, and the Bulldogs went on to score on the drive. Wisconsin won, 13-10.

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