South African free to race with immediate effect
Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge) is free to make a return to racing having successfully shown that he did not intentionally take the diuretic Probenecid for which he tested positive in February.
The news of the test wasn't announced until June 2 with Impey's A and B samples for Probenecid both coming back positive. He was removed from the Orica GreenEdge roster with immediate effect.
"I'm thrilled to have been given the notification that I'm 100% OK to race again and no sanction whatsoever will be applied," he said. "I was confident in my defense and I'm thankful that I was given the chance clear my name beyond any type of doubt. It's been a tough period to get through, but I'd like to thank my team for giving me the possibility to focus solely on getting this process done properly. All I can think of now is that I get to join my team and race my bike again as soon as possible," said Impey.
"Whilst I never disputed the lab results and the finding, I was put in a very tough position of defending my case due to strict liability. That being said, and after already having to go back 5 months to try find out how this could have happened, I finally was able to prove that this was a case of cross-contamination and I was also cleared of any fault or negligence on my part."
Impey claimed that the Probenicid entered his system through contaminated gelatine capsules that he had bought from a pharmacy, which he later put bicarbonate of soda in. The bicarbonate of soda was used to prevent the build-up of lactate acid. He told the hearing that the pharmacist who had issued him the capsules had the Probenecid on his hands from dealing with a prior customer. Till receipts proving that this was the case were apparently the defining factor in Impey being cleared.
In a statement released by the team, general manager Shayne Bannan expressed his delight with the news. "We are extremely happy with the fact that Daryl has been 100% cleared to race and we all look forward to having him back riding for us," Bannan said. "Daryl is a key rider for the team and we very pleased with how he has handled his case and the process around it. We will reinstate Daryl in our racing roster as soon as possible."
Impey became the first African rider to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France last year which he held for two days. The 29-year-old won stage 3 of the Bayern Rundfahrt in May and earlier in the year had defended his South African national time trial title after which he returned the positive test.
"I am hoping to return back to racing now, and hopefully compete before the World Championships in September," said Impey. "I re-iterate my stance against doping and I will continue to race clean throughout my career. Right now, I am just really happy that I can be a bike rider again and do what I love the most."
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