Grenoble - Russian rider Yevgeni Petrov has been thrown out of the Tour de France after failing a blood test.

The Lampre rider, 45th overall, failed a random test designed to check abnormal red blood cell levels which could signal the use of the banned endurance-booster EPO (erythropoietin).

Ninety-six riders have been subject to random doping checks in the first week of the Tour which hits the Alps on Tuesday.