18-year-old rider Gabriel Evans says he bought and used EPO in August, ahead of victory in the junior National 10 TT

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British junior national 10-mile time trial champion Gabriel Evans has admitted to using banned blood booster EPO in a statement posted on an internet forum.

Within the statement, published on the Timetrialling forum on Thursday, the 18-year-old rider admits to buying and using EPO in August. He was apparently caught with a vial of the drug during a Catford CC Equipe/Banks training camp in France by a team-mate’s father, who notified UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).

>>> Gabriel Evans: curiosity and loss of national title led to EPO use

“On 3 August 2015 I bought EPO for the first time. On 11 August 2015 I travelled to France for a weeks training camp with the family of a then-teammate,” wrote Evans.

“With me I brought one vial of EPO. This was found by the teammate’s father who presented evidence to UK Anti-Doping. UKAD contacted me shortly after to arrange a deposition, in which I promptly admitted to all wrongdoing. I withdrew from the upcoming Junior Tour of Wales, the premier event on the junior calendar.”

>>> British Masters Champion Andy Hastings given four-year doping ban

Evans said that he only rode one event after taking EPO – the British 10-mile TT championships, in which he took the junior title.

“I did not have this race in mind when I used the drugs; I realise that competing was (another) huge mistake but at the time my intent was not malicious,” said Evans of his 10-mile TT ride.

“I was hoping to regain some normality and that the whole mess would somehow be swept under the rug. I have now forfeited this title.”

>>> Gabriel Evans: curiosity and loss of national title led to EPO use

Evans used the statement to apologise for his actions, in particular those riders who finished behind him in the National 10, and to warn others not to follow the same path.

“I would also particularly like to apologise to the competitors and organisers of the 2015 Junior National 10 TT, especially to those three riders who were cheated out of medals,” he said.

“If there is anybody reading this who is considering using PEDs, know that my choice has turned out to be immensely destructive and has seriously affected my personal life.”

In addition to the 2015 National 10 title, Evans won the junior category of the National 25 in 2014.

The case raises serious questions as to how Evans obtained the EPO in the first place, and how he developed the mindset to use the drug.

Evans’s admission comes on the same day that UKAD confirmed that British Masters champion Andy Hastings had been handed a four-year ban for a doping violation.

  • Bob

    whats the point of any sport if you need to cheat to win – it not only does clean competitors a disservice in the eyes of the public, but brands you for the rest of your life as well as giving no personal satisfaction of a job well done

  • Anthony Jackson

    Yep. When I was 18 I won a Silver at the Nationals (other sport)… I knew what I took, I knew what was legal and was illegal… I knew the difference between good preparation and cheating. I knew that ‘Sodium Bi-Carb’ tasted like crap, but was not cheating… I once saw and Athlete swallowing a caffeine pill and was shocked, but I realised it wasnt cheating…. at 18 you know the difference, especially when you start injection you

  • Anthony Jackson

    When i was young, my coach went out of his way to make my life hell (different amateur sport)… he passively made my life really pointless, I think he wanted me to give up so he didn’t have to select me in his squad, or justify his lack of decision. I was an athlete who outperformed alot of his ‘favorites’. After he made his selection some months later, I asked him why, despite my superior results, did he not trial me for the squad…. the rest of the squad were my mates and it made more sense to include me…. he laughed and shrugged his shoulders…..I had wasted 4 months of my season (the best months, and I was 24 years old, and working full time) getting up at 6am to train with them, I lost my temper and smacked him in the chops…. He cried…. and that was the end of the situation and my career with that squad.

    Yes, I made a pretty bad decision, but I was never ‘let off’, I was charged by the Police, I had to explain to my boss why I now had a criminal record… he only ‘just’ let me keep my job.. I gained and lost a lot of respect from different people… and the whole community knew I clobbered my coach.

    He purposefully went out of his way to make me quit.. It wasnt a test of character, he just kept asking me to train with them, then when I’d out perform them in a test-race, Id be asked to go home…. and then he repeated that day after day, after day.

    I was never given a second chance. And I’d say my reaction was somewhat less of a problem than this cheat. Im regretful that my actions changed the course of my sporting career at my peak, but I’d clobber the bully tomorrow if I saw him……

    I was young, stupid and I loved the sport I was in…. Sometimes, despite the circumstances, your mistake is your downfall and you have to painfully live with that.

  • Anthony Jackson

    Yeah, that it is a weird comment…Maybe we should all stop living in houses and stop eating so we can make them feel better. …. I do feel a little ‘rich’ or eccentric when I fly my bike to Mallorca, but it just reminds myself that I shoulnt complain about my life, ever!! I feel sad for those born into poverty and broken countries, and I’d happily personally donate £5 per month to a person directly…. I trust charities as much as I trust large coffee chains, the money rarely gets to the poor and modern day ‘gurantees’ from companies dont mean jack-*hit.

    Unless you are prepared to truly make a massive sacrifice Dave, I wouldn’t worry yourself about global affairs. Its good to be aware of it, but don’t burden yourself with the weight of it…. Extreme poverty has bee around for 1000s of years, its only now the West feel arrogant enough to think they/we can really change it.

  • Wasmopolitan

    Lifetime ban, then sue. Or legalise it. Anything else is consent.

  • MrHaematocrit

    That’s OK then..Expelling someone from a team or club and not condoning doping historically works well.
    For example Astana Pro Cycling have never condoned doping and since terminating their association with riders who have tested positive are now a team no longer associated with doping .. Yep everyone is clean.

    The club is being short sighted, it could use this issue and rider as an example to deliver an important message to advise young riders of the dangers and what happens when you get caught. The club could also support and Evans and encourage him to state where and how he got the EPO which he has not yet done. This could also clear the club & coaches damaged reputation… However I guess its better to keep the omerta.
    Yep everyone is clean.

  • King of all Steve’s.

    I understand your caution re/ the lifetime ban and in some respects (only some) don’t necessarily disagree with you. However, and it’s a big however, the harsh outcome in my opinion should reflect the harsh light that’s been cast on the sport again. Make an example of anyone caught using PED’s & it might just deter any other gullible 18 year old desperate for a bit more kudos.

  • Stuart Wells

    Agree re: putting our sport in the news for the wrong reasons (again) but personally think you’re being super harsh on him. Absolutely disagree that 18 year olds automatically have adult maturity. I’d go so far as saying that’s utter crap (straight back at you, eh?!). Anyway, no point trying to persuade each other either way, ‘King’ Steve.

  • Stuart Wells

    Fairplay – I’m not advocating that everyone automatically deserves a second chance, just that this guy is young, stupid, needs to be punished but lifetime bans and all that chat? Seems harsh to me. I’d say ban him for a short while, give him education, get him back into the sport. Where do you stand on David Millar? Seems like it worked quite well for him, no?

  • LMaster

    Not all 18 year olds are fully capable of understanding the magnitude of their actions, and many are far more susceptible to outside influences than a typical 25 year old would be.

    For all we know this was all rationalized to him by his father, a coach, etc. and he really believed it was just something he was doing to “get back to normal”. To say unequivocally he is an “absolute and utter w@nker” is assuming far too much, as we don’t have complete details.

    That said, what we do know is this: He is a cheater and deserves a 4 year ban. If it can be proved that he wasn’t heavily influenced or coerced then he (in my opinion anyway) deserves a lifetime ban. Sadly, those do not exist, but I hope one day UCI/IAAF/WADA get together and approve lifetime bans for all situations except clearly proven deception/coersion.

    I’d accept 4 year bans for juniors. You’re young enough and not yet set enough in your ways at that age that changing attitudes is still possible at that point. In that regard 18 is much different than 25.

  • King of all Steve’s.

    Crap.

    The guy has shown an utterly obnoxious disregard for the sport and as I mentioned on an earlier post it’s the collateral damage that follows is where the real damage starts. I’m already being asked about EPO use by non cycling colleagues who have followed this. Kind of sucks the big one really.

    The guy new the risks and he seemed intelligent enough to realise the shitstorm that would follow and the fact that it again puts our sport out on the radar for all the wrong reasons. For those reasons I’d genuinely have no dramas or issues in finding out he gets a lifetime ban. Maybe a bit of a hardline attitude to some but im sure it would go some way to killing the cancer in this sport.

    This whole thing about him being only 18 and extending a bit of sympathy and support ~ f*** that. At 18 you’re an ADULT not a kid. If people still think that at 18 years old you don’t have the maturity to realise every cause has an equal effect then you need to check your pulse.

    The guy is a cheat and his ‘statement’ is crocodile tears.

  • Stevo

    Unless he was insane or very, very stupid, this wasn’t a mistake or an error of judgement; he knew what he was doing and what the consequences were likely to be, and he chose to do it anyway. If a second chance should be given, why shouldn’t a third, fourth, fifth? I actually don’t wish to judge the rider in this story at all. It’s just the often repeated idea that everyone deserves a second chance that I can’t get my head around.

  • Stuart Wells

    Why shouldn’t it? Not trolling, but surely you’ve made some mistakes in your life – errors of judgement – that you regret? I know i have.

  • Stevo

    Why does a second chance have to be given?

  • Stevo

    He had a chance like the rest, and he blew it. Same goes for the American.

  • Stuart Wells

    Clearly the guy has made a monumental mistake but ostracising him and banning him from the sport is not the way forward in my view. Surely it’s about understanding why he did it and providing support for his rehabilitation and return to the sport – as a clean athlete. Haters are going to hate etc but he’s still a kid (I know, technically he’s an adult but not all 18 year olds have the maturity of their adult status) and a second chance has to be given. After that? If he does it again, then a lifetime ban.

  • Cliff

    … and David Millar, Bernard Thevenet and everyone else 🙁

  • Cliff

    David Millar managed to find another team 🙁

  • elan

    What has this got to do with Armstrong,nothing.Every time a rider gets caught Lance gets a mention,is it to make the current bust appear less of a problem.If the young guy has admitted his mistake let him get his ban and take up cycling again. You don’t become a pro rider just by taking E.P.O. This guy has talent,and like Lance and the rest of us mere cyclists can only dream about.But he should learn by his mistakes and get a chance like the rest.Oh apart from Lance,but that’s democracy for you.

  • dourscot

    Concerning that a young British rider decided to do this in the first place – what influenced him to do such a stupid thing?

  • King of all Steve’s.

    Why is buying a £3.00 coffee lying to ourselves?! We all know there are others out there poorer than dirt but it doesn’t stop us having a chug of overpriced coffee and nor should we get all guilty & sanctimonious about it either. Taking it further – should I now feel guilty for being an overpaid overweight white middle class male too?

    And what does all this have to do with some dork using PED’s? Nada.

  • Anthony Jackson

    Even my 65 year old mum has heard of EPO. This was no accident

  • Anthony Jackson

    France see it as a criminal offence to taking peds so I imagine smuggling is another matter

  • Prestachuck

    Astana

  • dave

    He only rode once with EPO, not heard that one before!! People lie to themselves all the time, so he probably justified it in his own way, but without doubt would still be on it still if he didn’t get caught. Similar to the lying to ones self that most people do when they buy a £3 coffee on there Sunday ride while over a billion people live in extreme poverty and survive on less than 75p for day.

  • ian franklin

    I think there is no evidence of that at all.

  • Jon Hunt

    As a former double national junior TT champion I’m absolutely stunned by this report. I’d never have thought PEDs would be used in our TT sport. It’s always had the feel of a friendly, welcoming sport run in the spirit of fair play. But I will say I’m glad I never have to feel like he does now and can assure young riders that cheating really isn’t necessary. Besides, what is the point? What a hollow ‘victory’ and to deliberately take the glory and honour away from someone who deserves it is sickening.

  • lee

    18: christ when I was 18…drugs where the last thing on my mind…this lad should have enough testosterone NATURALLY – this ‘lad’ is a CAPITAL WANKER OF METEORIC PROPORTIONS in fact this is of the ‘wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire! proportions…

  • Stephen

    Need to be mindful he is only 18. I hope he gets support and not endless criticism. If he has any real talent give him a chance to let him right his wrongs.

  • DaveS

    Same old stuff. Seems the ‘it’s OK of you don’t get caught’is still alive and well.

  • King of all Steve’s.

    And that validates his doping/cheating how exactly? He knew what he was doing & knew the consequences too, as we all do. He is a cheat who has shown an obnoxious disregard not just to this sport but all those who have supported him in his sport to date. Yup – we ALL f*** up as you so eloquently put it, but knowingly and deliberately using PED’s after all that’s gone sour in the sport over the last umpteen years? That’s not f***ing up, that’s just being a complete, absolute and utter w@nker. By the way – you suggested that people like me don’t have the privilege of making such decisions. Sorry to put sand in your vaseline but people like me managed to race bikes for many years without ever using PED’s. But hey ho, that’s my ‘privilege’ not yours – if you want some go get your own.

    He was 18 at the time BTW. An adult.

  • dude590

    Looks like Gabriel is certainly no angel.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Then he’s young enough to try some other activity.

  • TrevorHoldsworth

    Agreed, use of EPO isn’t accidental. We need a lifetime ban for this stuff.

  • nathan ong

    vaughters and garmin? hah

  • King of all Steve’s.

    It’s not a ‘privilege’ at all. The kid cheated, he took ‘privileges’ away from those he competed against if you want to get pedantic about it. He’s a doper, he got caught, game over & good riddance.

  • stuart stanton

    It’s never, ever going to go away this doping mess….Merry Xmas Mr Armstrong

  • em biz

    Lets be thankful that people like you don’t have the privilege of making such decisions.

  • John Trott

    Not just one vial but at least 2. Bearing in mind he had already taken the EPO by the time he competed in the 10 Champs. I would be interested to know how the father of the team mate found the vial. I suspect he had an inkling hence finding it in his bag (if the reporting is factually correct) and therefore how widespread is the problem with youngsters. Very sad albeit clealry the older generation is still not setting an example with the other ban mentioned.

  • Matt Savage

    I wonder how many second places the child of the father who found it has earned…?

  • John Trott

    Not just one vial but at least 2. Bearing in mind he had already taken the EPO by the time he competed in the 10 Champs. I would be interested to know how the father of the team mate found the vial (fair play to him for doing so and raising with the correct agency) I suspect he had an inkling hence finding it in his bag (if the reporting is factually correct) and therefore how widespread is the problem with youngsters. Very sad albeit clealry the older generation is still not setting an example with the other ban mentioned.

  • King of all Steve’s.

    What a joker. The ‘statement’ just reeks of idle platitudes. Claims he’ll come back after his ban ~ which team in their right mind is going to touch this idiot after this?

    Call it a day Gabe, you’ve had your chance & you’ve blown it. Idiot.

  • Diana Pereira

    I am a London Dynamo member and can assure you that we do not condone this behavior. He has in fact been expelled from the club.

  • Lee Wingate

    not only that you’ve robbed the 2nd place guy (at the time) of a true win!!! and not only that but the feeling of standing on the top step where he should be….. and why, due to a cheat!!!

  • Lee Wingate

    not malicious?! well, its certainly Fraud!!! if i was head of London Dynamo, I’d kick him out of the club as well. this is NOT the sort of young rider we want coming up through the ranks. not only where did he get it from? coach? fellow riders?

  • Toleando Broomshaver

    Should be lifetime bans now, there is no misunderstanding about using EPO…I’m pretty sure he would have admitted to it all if he hadn’t been caught though, seeing as he’s so remorseful and all… }: – |

  • Toleando Broomshaver

    😀 😀

  • Darren Barratt

    Google it the wrong way and you get a life supply of Evening Primrose Oil 😉

  • J1

    FFS everybody’s doing it! I wonder how customs would’ve viewed him taking it to France if they had found it. What class is it, if any?

  • ian franklin

    Well, I’m not surprised at the master’s race producing a positive, but it is extremely worrying that a youngster can go down this route. I have been told by a European rider that he will no longer ride his country’s masters races because so many of his age group (50+) are on peds. Perhaps this lad will tell all about the source of supply and who looks after the medical side. This will be of great help to British Cycling.

  • burthoovis

    How can cheating not be malicious? WHAT A WANKER!

  • Richard Creaser
  • TrevorHoldsworth

    “my intent was not malicious” Joke of the year. Somewhat worrying that a
    youngster should have this mindset. Or maybe I am being naive.

  • Richard Creaser

    where did he obtain it? Google EPO in the right way and its all there ready to be shipped.