UCI tests blood of expected Tour riders
MONACO -- Cycling's governing body says all 180 riders expected to start the Tour de France -- plus one -- have undergone planned pre-race blood tests.
The UCI said nine riders from each of the 20 teams were tested Thursday along with Quick Step sprint star Tom Boonen.
The Belgian rider has appealed to French sports authorities in hopes of overturning a ban by Tour organizers after Boonen tested positive twice for cocaine in less than a year.
The blood tests are part of UCI's anti-doping program known as the "biological passport" that provides individual profiles of riders' blood parameters.
The Tour starts Saturday in Monaco and finishes July 26 in Paris. The race's image has been severely damaged by numerous doping scandals in recent years.
Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press
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