By Antonio J. Salmerón
The three riders who produced 'non-negative' results during the three-week Giro d'Italia were Spaniard Iban Mayo and Italians Alessandro Petacchi and Leonardo Piepoli. For the Spaniard from the Basque country, winner of stage 19 to Comano Terme, the urine sample tested produced high levels of testosterone.
The preliminary tests were carried out by the Italian Federal Sports Medicine anti-doping laboratory (FMSI) in Rome. As reported yesterday, the agency is sending samples to a Barcelona lab for further studies, particularly for the evidence of synthetic testosterone.
Thursday morning, Basque Joxean 'Matxin' Fernández noted to Cyclingnews that there has not been any official communication from UCI on the subject. "Firstly, I have not talked to anyone from the Spanish daily sport's newspaper AS [that had published Mayo's name - ed.]. The only thing that is true is that I phoned the UCI yesterday for advice on the supposed 'non-negative' of Iban Mayo," said Saunier Duval's Directeur Sportif. "The UCI assured me that there is nothing about him."
Matxin noted the existence of a certificate from the UCI that confirms the Spaniard naturally produces high values of testosterone.
"We still have not had any notification on the subject," assured Eugenio Bermúdez, General Secretary of the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), to AS.
It is unlikely that these cyclists are going to be sanctioned. The UCI uses "the non-negative" to define the cases in which a prohibited substance is detected but one that can be used with medical prescription (in the case of Salbutamol for asthmatic purposes) or can be produced in a natural way. Mayo was previously studied before being allowed a certificate for this anomaly. The Spaniard reportedly has had past oscillations of his T/E (Testosterone/Epitestosterone) ratio.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, the Barcelona lab will study if the Salbutamol found in the test results of Petacchi and Piepoli was inhaled or injected under the skin.