ATHENS, Greece -- A blood doping test on many of the top
cyclists at the Athens Games had to be canceled Friday when the
inspector was not allowed into the Olympic Village because of a
problem with his credential, the UCI cycling federation said.
"We had everything ready -- the commissioner and the doctor and
the riders were there but the inspector was not allowed to go in,"
UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani said.
The UCI immediately warned the IOC, and Olympic organizers have
apologized for the incident, he said. "We were very
disappointed," Carpani said. "We invest a lot of time and money
in the controls."
It was too late to administer the tests later Friday because
such blood samples have to be taken early in the morning.
The problem occurred a day after authorities couldn't find Greek
sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou in the athletes'
village for drug tests. The pair were later in a motorcycle crash
"We were standing there with our five riders, but after 20
minutes, still no one had shown up," said Dutch team doctor Tjeert
de Vries. Riders from the Italian, French and Belgian teams also
Carpini said that between the inspector and the riders "there
was a door and he could not go through it."
Cycling has been hit by a series of doping scandals recently,
and several gold medal contenders have had to pull out of the games
because of doping admissions.
Friday's test had been planned well in advance, and was not an
unannounced, out-of-competition check. A similar test may now be
held in the days leading up to Wednesday's time trial.