Cycling: Two riders expelled from Tour of Spain

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TWO RIDERS were expelled from the Tour of Spain yesterday after failing blood tests. Spain's Daniel Clavero, who was lying seventh, was thrown out of the race before yesterday's 20th stage in Segovia .

His Vitalicio Seguros team-mate Jose Carlos Dominguez was also expelled after testers from the international federation, UCI, made early-morning calls at five team hotels.

Both riders had unacceptably high haematocrit levels. Anyone with a blood concentration, known as the haematocrit level, which exceeds 50 per cent is considered unfit to race.

A high haematocrit level could be caused by a variety of reasons, one of which is doping with erythropoietin, EPO, which enhances the oxygen- carrying capacity of the blood. EPO use was at the root of the drugs purge on the Tour de France

The decision means neither rider can be selected for the world road championships at Valkenburg, the Netherlands, from October 6.