By Antonio J. Salmerón
The Saunier Duval-Scott climber Iban Mayo is will awaiting for the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to decide his fate over an alleged positive control for EPO. The rider's first sample from the second rest day of the 2007 Tour de France tested positive for the banned blood booster, but the backup sample was sent to Belgium for analysis where the result came back inconclusive. A third analysis was performed in France, which came back positive.
The outraged Spaniard cried foul, calling the multiple analyses illegal. The Spanish cycling federation considered the Belgian result to be final, and cleared the rider, and then refused to re-open the case. The UCI took the case to CAS, which will make its decision next month. "I hope that the final decision is not delayed further," Mayo said. "I expected it in May, but it was merely a review, a procedure for submitting claims. I thought that everything was going to be faster. There is no choice but to wait and be patient," the Basque rider said to Biciciclismo.com.
He has already spent almost a year without racing. "You have ups and downs, especially when you see all the irregularities of the process. The most difficult thing is that my squad has not allowed me to race. The Spanish Federation has not sanctioned to me; my case is filed, and I had a license to compete from the Challenge of Mallorca (in February).
The 31 year-old rider born in Igorre (Bizkaia) wants to continue racing with Saunier Duva-Scott for one more year, "because I had signed by Saunier Duval-Scott for two seasons (2007-2008), but I'm even automatically renewed for 2009. But I don't want to force the situation."