Doctor with link to banned riders fired


TOLEDO, Spain -- The Xacobeo-Galicia cycling team has
fired its Spanish Vuelta doctor because of his links to three
riders on another team who have tested positive for CERA, a form of the banned
blood-booster EPO, the team said on Saturday.

Xacobeo-Galicia said in a news release that Colombian doctor
Alberto Beltran, hired especially for the Vuelta, had been fired
as a "preventative measure."

Beltran previously had worked for Liberty
Seguros. Three riders on that team, Isidro Nozal and
Hector Guerra of Spain and Nuno Ribeiro of Portugal, tested positive for
CERA on Aug. 3, the International Cycling Union said on Friday.

"As soon as the case was announced on Friday about the three
riders in the Portuguese team for which Dr. Beltran worked, his
contract was ended," said Xacobea-Galicia.

Spain's Ezequiel Mosquera is Xacobea-Galicia's top rider in the Vuelta and is currently in fifth place. The team won Stage 9 thanks
to Gustavo Cesar Veloso.

The race ends in Madrid on Sunday.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.