Gripper clarifies situation vis-à-vis B sample
By Shane Stokes
The scheduled re-examination of Iban Mayo's B sample set to be carried out on Wednesday has been delayed, according to UCI anti-doping manager Anne Gripper. The Spanish rider returned a non-negative A result for EPOduring the Tour de France and was due to have the counter-analysis done this week in the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory.
Speaking to Cyclingnewson Thursday, Gripper said that it was decided to delay the analysis so that the rider or a representative could be there. This contrasted with a previous statementthat the procedure would be carried out then either way, and has presumably been done in order to avoid any possible complications.
"The analysis of the B was scheduled to occur in Paris yesterday [Wednesday], but it was postponed to make absolutely sure that Mr Mayo had the opportunity to attend or elect a representative to attend the opening and analysis on his behalf," she stated. "I can't confirm the new date publicly until Mr Mayo, RFEC [the Spanish Cycling Federation] etc. have acknowledged receipt of the information."
Mayo's B sample has already been tested once in Belgium but the decision was taken by the UCI to carry this out again as the original finding was not verified. Some protested at this, including the RFEC, saying that the UCI were trying to find Mayo guilty despite that result.
However, Gripper clarified the situation on Thursday, reaffirming that the result of the second test was unclear rather than negative.
"The analysis of the B sample was conducted by the Gent lab. It was inconclusive. They sent the results (actually a photo of the electrophoresis process) to the Sydney lab for a second opinion. The sample itself was not sent to Sydney. Sydney confirmed the inconclusive result and suggested that the remainder of the B sample be analysed in the Paris lab to obtain a conclusive result."
Mayo was targeted for a surprise test during the Tour de France's second rest day due to what the UCI said were 'suspicious blood values'. The rider had been displaying his best Tour de France form this year since his sixth place in 2003.