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Bermudez about Mayo case: "UCI is reading the rules in its own manner."

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23.12.2007/ The Spanish cycling federation refuses to sanction Saunier Duval's Iban Mayo after the French lab in Chatenay-Malabry found epo in a second analysis of Mayo's B-sample. Earlier the laboratory of Ghent (Belgium) concluded that the results of the B-sample were inconclusive.  An Australian lab confirmed the conclusion of the lab in Ghent.

© Cyclingheroes
Iban Mayo at the Aubisque ( Cyclingheroes)

The bad news about the 'A 'sample was announced by Mayo's team, Saunier Duval: "Iban Mayo tested positive for epo following a test on July 24, which was a rest day on the Tour de France." The Spanish Cycling Federation opend a case against the 29 year old Spanish rider but closed the case after a laboratory in Ghent (Belgium) found that Mayo's B-sample was inconclusive. The lab had send its results to an Australian lab which confirmed the conclusion of the Belgian lab.

The International Cycling Federation (UCI) surprised many observers by demanding a new analysis of the B-sample, which is unprecendented. Until now a rider was free to ride if his first 'B' sample is not a clear positiv. The world body assigned the French lab in Chatenay-Malabry for a second test on the 'B' sample, the same lab had also examined Mayo's 'A' sample. The French lab confirmed the analysis of the 'A' sample and concluded that Mayo's 'B' sample was positive for epo.

The Spanish Cycling Federation reacted by saying that they won't open disciplinary proceedings against Iban Mayo. According to its secretary general, Eugenio Bermudez the lab in Ghent uses a different test than its French counterpart. The lab in Ghent produced a false epo positive a few years ago [The triathlete Rutger Bleke case]  and changed its methods, the Chatenay-Malabry lab is still using the old method which produced the false positive in Ghent. Bermudez told US newsagency Associated Press that he expects another clash with the UCI, as the Spanish federation didn't change its stance.

In a statement, issued on Friday the UCI said: "The UCI has thus requested the Spanish Federation to reopen disciplinary proceedings against Iban Mayo for this clear breach of the anti-doping regulations."

The UCI concluded: "The UCI has set a deadline for the Spanish Federation to take a position on this subject. In the event of its refusal to do so, the UCI will refer the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)."

"It's not voluntary but I expect [a confrontation] to come," Bernudez told  Associated Press. "If there was another manner of doing this we would prefer to do it that way but there doesn't seem to be any other route out of this."

"We won't voluntarily go to CAS but the federation is prepared to defend its rider, Bermudez said." 

The Spanish federation clashed with the UCI at CAS after the UCI attempted to prevent Spanish rider Alejandro Valverde from riding the road race World Championships. The Spanish Cycling Federation won that case and Valverde was allowed to start at the worlds.

"To satisfy people, what do we have to do? Change the laws? Kill each cyclist's career? There are laws for everyone: cyclists, politicians, the UCI... and if Mayo had tested positive on that same day he would have been sanctioned," Bermudez said. "But the UCI is reading the rules in its own manner, which just doesn't work for us."

"They wanted that second test because they are more interested in a result that works for them," Bermudez said.

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