13th October 2015

Seven cyclists eligible to return from UCI ADRV bans before 2016

Seven cyclists sanctioned by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) for committing an anti-doping rule violation (ADRV) are eligible to return to competition before the end of this year. This is a markedly smaller number than the 36 athletes banned by the IAAF that are due to return to competition before the start of 2016. Both organisations conduct a similar number of tests – WADA’s 2014 Testing Figures show that the IAAF conducted 25,850 doping tests during that year, compared to 22,471 conducted by the UCI.

Perhaps the most high-profile of the seven is Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, who was banned for two years from 1 January 2014 by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) for the British Cycling Federation. His ban will expire on New Year’s Eve. Tiernan-Locke was banned on the basis of blood values in his athlete biological passport (ABP) indicating use of an ‘erythropoiesis-stimulating agent’. Locke has consistently argued that the blood values were due to an ‘alcoholic binge’ 32 hours before his blood sample being taken and not eating or drinking the following day. However, a Sport Resolutions panel decision on the case expressed ‘considerable reservations’ about his evidence. He recently told the BBC that he has been discussing the possibility of an appeal against his sanction through the UK courts system.

Norwegian Vegard Robinson Bugge was issued with a four-month ban due to confusion over an asthma medication he was taking. According to Norwegian reports, he was taking asthma medication Bricanil, which contains terbutalin, the substance listed on the UCI’s list of sanctions. It is understood that Bugge ran out of ventolin, his normal medication, during the Tour des Fjords.

Andre Robert Massot, a veteran French cyclist born in 1955, was banned in 2014 for use of steroids. Oumar Sangare is a road racing cyclist from Mali, who was banned for two years after an adverse analytical finding (AAF) for cathinone at the Tour du Faso, 2013. Cathinone is the major active chemical in Khat, a social amphetamine-like drug used in some African countries.

Argentinean Luis-Mario Vegetti is a track cyclist who was banned for two years in 2013 after reporting an AAF for stanozolol. Vicente Zorich is another Argentinean who was sanctioned on the same data as Vegetti for use of amphetamine and phentermine, a weight-loss pill with similar chemical properties to amphetamine. Leif Hoste is a Belgian professional road cyclist who retired after being banned for irregularities in his biological passport.

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