May 05, 2005
Ribeiro ineligible for Giro after high hematocrit
Portugal's Nuno Ribeiro won't take the start of the Giro d'Italia Saturday, after turning up with a hematocrit of 52 percent, where anything above 50 is grounds for exclusion.
Although the test results don't count as a doping positive, but only as a "health control", Liberty Seguros management said Ribeiro was being sent to Lausanne for more complete testing by the UCI. The team says Ribeiro had previously tested between 47 and 48.5 after training at altitude, but tested at 52 almost immediately afterwards.
Liberty is going above and beyond by providing Ribeiro for a battery of UCI doping tests to either confirm or deny the possibility that Ribeiro was artificially boosting his hematocrit. Many teams would have their rider serve out their 15 ineligible days, then stick them right back out on the start line.
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