Giro d'Italia organizers decide not to retest samples for CERA

ROME -- Giro d'Italia organizers have no plans to re-examine doping samples from this year's race for the blood-boosting drug at the center of the latest Tour de France scandal.

"The Giro d'Italia has already made the necessary checks," race director Angelo Zomegnan said in an interview with the Apcom news agency Thursday. "The labs and the UCI have told us these tests were done, and nothing was found that could be taken as suspect. It's useless to ask for more [tests]."

Three stage winners in this year's Tour -- Stefan Schumacher of Germany and Italy's Riccardo Ricco and Leonardo Piepoli -- tested positive for CERA, an advanced version of EPO.

Ricco, who was banned for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) last week, finished second in this year's Giro and won two stages.

Zomegnan said the test for CERA was perfected in July under a collaboration between an Italian Olympic Committee lab in Rome and the Chatenay-Malabry lab outside Paris. The Giro ended June 1.

"These tests, I've been told, began during the Giro," Zomegnan said. "To me, it seems excessive to ask for more."

On Wednesday, the International Olympic Committee announced it would retest samples taken in August from athletes in all sports at the Beijing Games to search for traces of CERA.

"Each organizer takes care of its own event," Zomegnan said.

CONI's anti-doping prosecutor declined to comment on the Giro's decision.