Iban Mayo was informed by the Spanish Cycling Federation on Monday that the testing of his B sample from the Tour de France positive test on July 24 has come back negative. The Saunier Duval - Prodir rider was originally declared positive for the blood booster EPO from a sample taken on the Tour's second rest day, but has now been cleared for a return to racing.
According to AFP, the federation confirmed that there had been a mistake in the testing of Mayo's A sample, which was carried out at the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory in Paris. The B sample was tested by a separate laboratory in the Belgian city of Gent, and was confirmed by another test done in Australia.
Speaking on Spanish radio station EFE, Mayo said: "During these months I have felt very bad. My professional career was a wreck, but everything has turned out as expected.
"I have not stopped training during this time, although I didn't feel good," he added "A lot of people gave me support to carry on."
Mayo had been temporarily suspended by his team, pending the outcome of the B sample, but is now expected to see out his contract. "I have signed [with Saunier Duval] until 2008 and I hope to finish with them," he said.
Saunier Duval manager Mauro Gianetti told Reuters that the team was yet to receive official confirmation from the UCI. "We have read stuff on the Internet and it seems that this has happened but it is too early to make any comment," he said.
Courtesy of Antonio J. Salmerón