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Friday 18, Aug 2017

  Former Olympic Cycling Champion Fails Doping Test

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Samuel Sanchez, the former Olympic champion from Spain, has been suspended with immediate effect after testing positive for banned growth hormones, according to an announcement by the world governing body of cycling.

The 39-year-old Sanchez, who won the 2008 Olympic road race in Beijing and five individual stages in the Vuelta a Espana between 2005 and 2007 as well as an individual stage on the 2011 Tour de France, will now miss this year’s Vuelta that begins on Saturday in France.

In a statement, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) said on its website that Samuel Sanchez had been notified of an “Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of GHRP-2” from an out-of-competition test on August 9th. The UCI added Sanchez has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample in accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules. It added the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

The governing body also remarked the doping control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation, the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

GHRP-2 refers to GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) that are classified as “Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances, and Mimetics” on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s 2017 Prohibited List. It is commonly used to increase lean body mass, reduce fat, and improve aerobic performance.

Team BMC Racing of Sanchez immediately announced his suspension and announced the rider would be replaced by Loic Vliegen in the Vuelta. In a statement, BMC said Sanchez has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect in accordance with BMC Racing Team’s zero tolerance policy and UCI regulation. The statement also reads that no further action will be taken until the results of the B sample are provided. The team also commented that all riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing Team is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a Espana.

Sanchez vehemently denied doping allegations and remarked the positive test was a ‘total surprise.’ The cyclist added the lawyers have told him not to make statements because we have to wait for the result of the analysis of the B sample. The 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion said he is nearing the end of his professional career and it makes no sense for him to dope at this stage.

Sanchez, who turned pro in 2000 and who has been riding for BMC Racing since 2014, was expected to announce his retirement after Vuelta a Espana. BMC re-signed Sanchez for the 2015 season and his role was described by the team’s sporting manager Allan Peiper as similar to that in 2014, but with a greater focus on supporting and developing the team’s younger riders. The Spanish professional road bicycle racer had proven himself in hilly classics and stage races as one of the most important riders in the peloton in recent years. Known as one of the best descenders in the peloton, Sanchez won the Vuelta a Burgos in 2010, the Tour of the Basque Country in 2012, and five stages of the Vuelta a España.

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Wednesday 18, Dec 2013

  Ex-Cyclist Launches One Million Euro Compensation Claim

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Ex-Cyclist Launches One Million Euro Compensation Claim

Roberto Heras Hernández, Spanish former professional road bicycle racer who won the Vuelta a España a record-tying three times, has remarked he plans to initiate a legal action for claiming one million euro in compensation.

Heras, who was racing with the Liberty Seguros team at the time of his victory, had previously competed with Lance Armstrong’s US Postal Service squad. Heras was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the U.S. Postal team from 2001 to 2003. He retired after he was stripped of the 2005 Vuelta title for testing positive for Erythropoietin (EPO). Heras won a subsequent Spanish Supreme Court battle over the same issue one year ago. His 2005 Vuelta title was given to the runner-up Denis Menchov.

President of the Spanish cycling federation RFEC, Jose Luis Lopez Cerron, remarked that Heras had faxed that federation and a government sports’ panel to tell them about the legal complaint. It was stated by Cerron that he had not enough time for considering a response but it was later reported by Bloomberg that the state will fight the claim due to be held in a civil court in Madrid, according to a government official.

The ex-cyclist is seeking compensation due to him on the account of what he says was a loss of earnings. The positive test of Roberto Heras came after a surprising second place finish in the penultimate day time trial in the 2005 Vuelta a España. Heras finished just fractions of a second behind the day’s winner Ruben Plaza even though he was a flyweight climber who seldom rode strongly against the clock. Heras beat recognized time trial specialists such as Denis Menchov. However, Heras was banned after his positive EPO test and he decided to launch an action with the Contencioso Administrativo del Tribunal Superior de Justicia de Castilla y León civil court rather than fight his two year ban through the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The cyclist claimed that the samples took 40 hours to be delivered rather than 24 hours and his samples arrived at room temperature rather than being refrigerated and they were transported by people who were not identified. It was also claimed by Heras’ legal team that the ‘A’ and ‘B’ samples of Heras were analyzed by the same people and that they were aware of the name of the person they were testing, which violated the requirements for anonymity. Heras was able to successful lay claim to the overall victory in the 2005 Vuelta a España when the Supreme Court ruled against the Spanish cycling federation and the state attorney on December 21st of last year. This was after Heras won that appeal in June 2011.

In 1995, Roberto Haros turned professional for the Spanish cycling team Kelme and his first professional win came in 1996 in the Subida al Naranco. The cyclist assisted Lance Armstrong in the mountain stages of the Tour de France. Heros left US Postal to lead the Spanish Liberty Seguros team at the end of 2003 and entered the Vuelta a España and won to equal Tony Rominger’s record three wins.

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Tuesday 30, Oct 2012

  Former Swiss Rider Denies Doping Network Links

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Former swiss rider denies doping network links

An accomplished rider in both the Grand Tour events and one-day races, Switzerland’s Tony Rominger, has denied his management company having links to what is believed by Italian investigators as a network designed to finance doping, aid evasion of taxes, and money laundering.

Italian officials are investigating the activities of sports doctor Michele Ferrari in the wake of a report against cyclist Lance Armstrong and his USPS team from the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) wherein the agency accused Armstrong of overseeing a widespread doping program. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life, a decision that was recently endorsed by the governing body of cycling, the UCI.

It was alleged by two Swiss newspapers that cash from operations of Ferrari went through the management company of Tony Rominger. Rominger issued a statement saying, “Tony Rominger formally contests these accusations of tax evasion and money laundering being reported in the media,” and added that he had no contact with Ferrari for “very many years.” Rominger added that he had never been called upon to provide information to the penal, civil or administrative judicial system — either Swiss or Italian.

The accusations were immediately and vehemently denied by the professional road racing cyclist who won the Vuelta a España in 1992, 1993, and 1994, and the Giro d’Italia in 1995. The cyclist also won the Mountains Jersey twice in the Vuelta a Espana, in 1993 and 1996 and the the Points Jersey in the 1993 Vuelta a Espana. In the 1992 World Championship Road Race, Rominger was placed fourth behind Gianni Bugno of Italy, Laurent Jalabert of France, and Dimitri Konyshev of Russia. In the 1993 Tour de France, Rominger finished second behind Miguel Indurain of Spain. The cyclist had a successful career but was overshadowed by the prowess of Indurain (winner of  five consecutive Tours de France from 1991 to 1995, the fourth to win five times) in the Grand Tours.

Meanwhile, Indurain has openly extended his support of Lance Armstrong and said he believes in the innocence of Armstrong. He went on to dispute the strength of evidence against the cyclist and remarked that he believes Armstrong will come back and appeal and try to show that he played fair for all those years. Indurain also took issue with the investigation process and challenged the validity of the evidence produced against the seven-time Tour de France champion, Armstrong who was stripped of all his titles and banned for life by the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) relying on witness testimony from 11 former teammates and 15 other riders.

Despite the fact that the governing body of cycling accepted the sanctions imposed on Armstrong by USADA, the UCI president, Pat McQuaid, delivered a different message to the world by calling USADA evidence and methods into questions and raising grounds for a possible appeal – either by Armstrong himself, or by the World Anti-Doping Agency – against the conclusions of the report. McQuaid also challenged the USADA jurisdiction in stripping Armstrong of his titles under the WADA Code and publishing its report after the cyclist waived his right to a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) hearing.

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