French Rider Tests Positive For EPO

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that French rider Lloyd Mondory has failed an out-of-competition test for the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO). The rider has been provisionally suspended and may receive a ban of four years if results of the test are confirmed.

The contract of Mondory was extended two days until 2016 before the positive test. Mondory has since raced Trofeo Laigueglia, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and Strade Bianche.

It was announced by the world governing body of cycling that it has notified French rider Lloyd Mondory of an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 17 February 2015. The UCI statement added the rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. It also disclosed that Lloyd Mondory has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

The 32-year-old of the Ag2r La Mondiale team returned a positive test for EPO on February 17. Mondory has twice taken part in the Tour de France. In 2004, he turned professional and spent his entire career at Ag2r. Mondory won the French Cup in 2006 and participated in 2009 and 2010. Mondory won Tirenno-Adriatico’s mountains classification in 2008.He also took stage victories in the Etoile de Bessèges in 2011 and the Vuelta a Burgos last year. The French professional road bicycle racer took the second place in a stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España.

Mondory is the first top-level French cyclist to test positive for EPO since Steve Houanard in 2012. Ag2r-La Mondiale suspended itself from the Critérium du Dauphiné under Movement for Credible Cycling in the following season Sylvain Georges returned a positive test for the stimulant heptaminol.  A2gr faces suspension over the charges and participation of the team in this year’s Tour de France is now in question. The team will however not be compelled by the MPCC to suspend itself even if the B-sample of Mondory reveals a positive outcome as the last infraction was more than 12 months ago.

Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu said he is ashamed and remarked he feels a sense of betrayal. Lavenu added Mondory has been with the team for 12 years and reputation of the team will now be tarnished. The A2gr manager said he cannot handle this and added it is always shameful to receive this kind of information. Lavenu also said Lloyd Mondory was in tears but his explanation doesn’t convince him and he hopes Mondory has the courage to tell the truth and not hide behind false excuses. He went on to add that we are betrayed too much and said this is the third French rider in three years who has acted the idiot, it’s appalling and it is a mixture of shame, betrayal, and discouragement.

Since 1992, Lavenu has been at the helm of the Ag2r team and is among the longest-serving team managers in the peloton.

Ag2r La Mondiale team has previously been struck by doping cases including the arrest of Rodolfo Massi at the 1998 Tour de France and implication of Francisco Mancebo in Operacion Puerto in 2006.

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