Italian rider Cristian Moreni (Cofidis) has failed a test for a high testosterone:epitestosterone ratio following stage 11 of the Tour de France, according to L'Equipe.
The 34 year-old Italian was one of eight riders to be tested after the stage between Marseille and Montpellier, won by South African Robert Hunter. The others tested were Hunter, Michael Rasmussen (yellow jersey leader), Maxim Iglinskiy, Erik Zabel, Lilian Jegou, Moreni, Kim Kirchen and Patxi Vila.
Moreni's Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer was left a little nonplussed. "I am going to listen to what Moreni has to say," said Boyer, who has been one of the leaders in the fight against doping in the sport since taking over the reins at Cofidis in June 2005 and hired Moreni at the end of that year.
"I want to hear his explanation for this and then we will decide what we are going to do."
Eight riders were tested after the stage: Robert Hunter (stage winner), Michael Rasmussen (yellow jersey leader), Maxim Iglinskiy, Erik Zabel, Lilian Jégou, Moreni, Kim Kirchen and Patxi Vila.
The news comes 24 hours after Astana team leader Alexandre Vinokourov was forced to pull out of the race after failing a test for blood doping after his win in Saturday's time trial stage in Albi - his team also later withdrew at the request of the race organisers.
Boyer, though, did not know whether his team would follow their example. "For the moment, I don't know, I know nothing."
In what might be a funny coincidence, our correspondent Dan Friebe may have discovered the reason for Moreni's allegedly high testosterone levels.
© BikeRadar/AFP 2007