Tests show Pantani used EPO when he won Tour de France

Cipollin samples also tested positive

Tests show Pantani used EPO when he won Tour de France

Paris, July 24 - Tests on old blood samples showed that late Italian cyclist Marco Pantani was using a banned substance when he won the 1998 Tour de France, according to a report to a parliamentary inquiring on the effectiveness of the French battle against doping. He, the runner-up that year, German Jan Ullrich, and other riders used banned blood-booster erythropoetin EPO, according to a French Senate Commission report released on Wednesday and based on retroactive tests for banned substances carried out at the end of 2004. Retired Italian sprinter Mario Cipollini was also among those who tested positive. No test for EPO existed in 1998. The report's author, Jean-Jacques Lozach, said no sanctions will be imposed on riders who used the banned substance during the Tour de France in 1998 and 1999. Tour organizers said Pantani, who also won the Giro d'Italia in 1998, will retain his title. The Italian rider died from a cocaine overdose in 2004 aged 34.

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