Up to 187 athletes involved
Joe Papp confirmed to Cyclingnews that the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is investigating possible doping violations stemming from sales of EPO and HGH that he facilitated on behalf of the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts company.
Purchases of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs were made by up to 187 international athletes from a variety of sports, including cycling, from September 2006 to September 2007.
The transactions took place with Papp as an intermediary between his sportsman clients and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH.
Yesterday, Cyclingnews confirmed that USADA had given a two-year suspension to Jonathan Chodroff, who bought EPO through Papp in the spring of 2007 - though at the time he was unaware that it was his compatriot who was facilitating the transaction.
"I have nothing but praise for Jonathan Chodroff's decision to accept responsibility for his actions," said Papp. "He made a mistake - albeit a costly one - but unlike at least one of his colleagues in the US pro peloton, Jonathan stood up and took it like a man."
It was unclear to whom Papp was referring.
However, today Papp confirmed that he was in Denver, Colorado, on September 14th to give testimony in a separate anti-doping inquiry that did not involve Chodroff, and he said as much via Twitter, writing in the early-morning hours of the 15th: " Gnite from Denver, peeps. Remember - speed kills, EPO works, but doping isn't worth the long term negative consequences..."
Papp declined to confirm whether the inquiry targeted any of his clients, though he did reveal that he expects a ruling on the case before the start of the World Championships in Australia.
"I was in Colorado for an anti-doping hearing but I can't say who that was for," Papp told Cyclingnews. "I can't provide any detail on what the hearing was for. I will say I was there though."
Cyclingnews attempted to contact the rider involved and will provide more on the story later.
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