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Spanish Cyclist Tests Positive for Performance Drug After Stage 4 of Tour de France


A second Spanish rider has tested positive for the banned endurance-boosting drug EPO and has been removed from this year's Tour de France.

Moises Duenas Nevado of the Barloworld team, tested positive after last week's fourth stage, an individual time trial at Cholet.

Police raided the team's hotel and detained Duenas Nevado Wednesday. A team spokesman said the Spaniard was immediately withdrawn from the race before the 11th stage and has been suspended from the team. The rest of the team plans to continue racing.

Duenas Nevado is the second Spanish rider to test positive for EPO during this year's Tour. Manuel Beltran of Liquigas tested positive after the first stage this year and was ejected from the race last week. The two positive tests are the latest in a series of doping scandals to hit the Tour, including 2006 when American Floyd Landis tested positive for testosterone and was stripped of the title.

EPO (erythropoietin) is a drug commonly given to cancer and anemia patients to boost their production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. It has been abused by athletes in endurance events like cycling and cross-country skiing to help boost their endurance. It can cause a dangerous thickening of the blood which can lead to heart attacks, strokes, cerebral embolism and kidney damage. It has been on the list of banned substances since the early 1990s.

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