180 urine tests, 400 blood samples, 8 escorts… How are doping tests carried out?

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france info: sports

Urine and blood tests are carried out on the Grande Boucle every day. Here’s the behind-the-scenes look at these controls.

In charge of the fight against doping at the Tour de France, the International Testing Agency (ITA) has set up a very specific procedure. The independent body, which also presides over the Olympic Games, carries out daily tests, as happened on Friday 21 July, on the Grande Boucle.

Stéphane Lucas is one of eight escorts assigned to escort the riders to doping control. “We follow the runner. If he has to get on his bus, because he has the right to go, we follow him, get on his bus and check everything he could bring”, He explains. Each day, the wearer of the yellow jersey, the stage winner and six other riders must undergo these tests.

This time, veteran Laurent Pichon is one of them and his date won’t take his eyes off him. “We know that cycling has had some dark years, so it’s for everyone’s good (…), for our sport to just be clean”explains the runner who willingly lends himself to the procedure.
Stéphane Lucas tells us that the runner can eat and drink, but cannot, for example, take a shower.

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