David George has been given a two-year suspension by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. The former US Postal rider tested positive for EPO this summer.
George returned the positive doping control in an an out-of-competition test at the end of August. According to the AP news agency, he was targeted after his biological passport “showed suspicious activity.”
The 36-year-old did not attend the hearing on Saturday, but claimed that he acted alone in using the drug. “George claims his EPO doping was isolated to himself and he could not provide us with information in terms of an infrastructure of doping,” SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant said. “Hence he received the standard two-year ban as there were no grounds for a reduction in this sanction.”
George agreed to help the agency with its test planning in an “attempt to atone for the doping offense to the cycling community.” He must forfeit all results and prize moneys earned after November 5, when the positive doping control was first announced.
In addition, he will lose his win in this year's Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike race.
His team's sponsor, Nedbank, said that it was ending its sponsorship as a result of the doping affair. It will continue to sponsor youth development activities and various races and events.