Demonising Justin Gatlin
13th September 2015
The Union Cycliste Internationale’s (UCI) Disciplinary Commission today suspended the Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec Pro Continental team for 30 days, after rider Fabio Taborre (pictured) reported an adverse analytical finding for FG-4592, a compound designed to increase an individuals red blood cell count in order to combat anaemia. In a statement issued today, the UCI said that the suspension would run from 1-30 August, in in accordance with Article 7.12.1 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), which provide for a ‘Team Suspension’. The team may file a request for a lifting of the suspension, however it had not done so at time of press.
‘This constitutes the second AAF for a member of the UCI Professional Continental Team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec since the beginning of 2015 and within a 12 month period’, read an earlier 27 July UCI statement. The UCI said that Taborre had been provisionally suspended, but has the right to request analysis of his B sample.
FG-4592, sometimes called ‘oxygen in a pill’, stimulates the production of erythropoietin (EPO) inside the body (endogenous). Unlike exogenous (externally administered) EPO, it is available in pill form and works in combatting anaemia by increasing an individual’s ability to produce red blood cells. As red blood cells contain iron, this helps combat anaemia, but red blood cells also carry oxygen around the body – specifically to the muscles. It is also understood that FG-4592 doesn’t raise blood pressure in the same way as EPO, reducing the risk of heart attacks due to ‘thickened’ blood.
As reported by the Sports Integrity Initiative, the Chilean Olympic Committee recently reported that cyclist Carlos Oyarzun had tested positive for FG-4592 at the Toronto 2015 Pan American Games. Oyarzun has asked for his B sample to be analysed. This followed a positive test for FG-4592 on race-walker Bertrand Molinet, which was confirmed by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) in April.
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