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Euskaltel denies notification of Astarloza's EPO counter-analysis

By:
Susan Westemeyer
Published:
September 01, 2009, 10:30 BST,
Updated:
September 01, 2009, 14:12 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, September 1, 2009
Mikel Astarloza and his teammates

Mikel Astarloza and his teammates

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Counter-analysis pending for Tour stage winner Astarloza's positive EPO test, says team

Team Euskaltel-Euskadi denied receiving notification that counter-analysis confirmed Mikel Astarloza's positive test for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO). Various media sources have announced in recent days the counter-analysis of a urine sample taken June 26 also tested positive.

"Right now we do not know one way or the other," team manager Miguel Madariaga told Marca.com. "We know that the counter-analysis has been done, and that the laboratory in Madrid has sent it to the UCI [International Cycling Union - ed.], and the UCI now has to decide."

Euskaltel hasn't received notification of the result, he said. If the UCI announces a positive counter-analysis on the "B sample" Spain's Astarloza will have 10 days to appeal.

Astarloza tested positive for EPO on June 26, but the UCI only announced the result July 31. He rode the Tour de France and won the mountain stage to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, July 1.

The UCI temporarily suspended Astarloza, 29, when it announced the result. The team said that it considered him innocent until proven guilty.

Astarloza was the second rider from the Basque team to test positive that month after Iñigo Landaluze.

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