MAYO - CONFUSION REIGNS
The three-month long saga of Iban Mayo’s possible positive test for EPO during this year's Tour de France has yet to be fully resolved, and the Spaniard could still be sanctioned for a possible doping offence.
According to the UCI, a final resolution has yet to be settled concerning the Saunier Duval-Prodir rider’s possible positive for EPO because the ‘B’ sample did not return a negative result, in fact the test result was illegible.
The first test was carried out in Paris and because the French lab was on holiday, the second ‘B’ test was carried out in Ghent, Belgium. It is also reported in Spanish sports daily MARCA that a third test on Mayo’s blood has been carried out in Australia - but this has not been confirmed elsewhere.
On Wednesday, Spanish newspaper El Pais claimed that UCI anti-doping officials tested Mayo during the Tour’s second rest day because his blood values were unusual. The ‘A’ test from this visit apparently produced a positive for EPO, but late on Monday it emerged the second was - according to Mayo, but not according to the UCI - negative.
In an attempt to clear up the confusion, El Pais also cited a similar recent case in Spanish cycling, that of Roberto Heras.
The three-times Vuelta winner also tested positive for EPO in his ‘A’ test back in 2005 after he won the Tour of Spain for a record-breaking fourth occasion, and then the second ‘B’ test had to be carried out twice for a legible result to be obtained. In Heras's case, that second ‘B’ testing turned out to positive, and Heras was banned for two years.
Mayo’s second ‘B’ test will also be carried out in Paris and the whole case taken to the Court of Arbitration for Sport following this final - and hopefully definitive - test.
Mayo’s defense, however, claim that the case should now be closed because the testing procedure has been completed.
The Spaniard has apparently already been cleared by the Spanish Cycling Federation whose relationship with the UCI - never particularly brilliant - worsened yet further over the question of Alejandro Valverde’s participation in the World Championships in Stuttgart.
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