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Cycling’s Mayo in trouble

20 December 2007

MADRID – Spanish cyclist Iban Mayo has tested positive for irregular EPO levels in the second analysis of a ‘B’ sample carried out at the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory, the French sports daily L’Equipe reported yesterday. The rider first tested positive on 21 July of this year, during the Tour de France.

A second test had already been carried out on Mayo’s blood sample after he initially tested positive, but, due to the fact that it shuts for the month of August, the analysis was performed at a laboratory in Ghent, Belgium. However, despite the lab’s status with the World Anti-Doping Agency as an accredited testing centre, the sample came back as inconclusive, given the differences in procedures used there.

"Completely illegal"
On 22 October, the Spanish Cycling Union shelved the case, considering the negative result from Ghent to have been legally valid. However, against Mayo’s wishes, the International Cycling Union requested that the ‘B’ sample be sent to the French laboratory, where it tested positive.

Mayo’s lawyer, José Rodríguez, yesterday insisted that the test process was "completely illegal because it is not accepted by UCI [International Cycling Union] norms and therefore cannot be valid for sanctioning anybody."

However, it is likely now that Mayo will be sanctioned, having already been punished by his former team Saunier Duval, which sacked him during the Tour when he first failed the test.

[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]

Subject: Spanish news