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Sayar suggests French conspiracy in EPO positive

By:
José Been
Published:
July 18, 2013, 10:45 BST,
Updated:
July 18, 2013, 13:17 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 18, 2013
Race:
Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey
Mustafa Sayar (Torku Sekerspor)

Mustafa Sayar (Torku Sekerspor)

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Tour of Turkey winner says results would be different outside French lab

Mustafa Sayar, winner of this year's Tour of Turkey, spoke to the Turkish media for the first time after the news came out of his positive doping test. The 24-year old Turkish rider of continental Team Konya Torku Seker Sport denies having used banned substances and doubts the findings of the French anti-doping lab in Chatenay Malabry.

"I didn't use doping. The laboratory in France made mistakes because I beat several French riders in the Tour of Turkey. If my urine was tested in another laboratory, the result would have been negative," Sayar said.

The 24-year old Sayar was the surprising winner of this year's Tour of Turkey, a 2.HC event. He beat Europcar's Natnael Berhane by 41 seconds.. His win to the sanctuary of Selcuk raised eyebrows across the peloton, resulting in a tweet by Marcel Kittel "I was not often in my life so angry about a result of someone else. And I see many people around me feeling the same."

In an interview with MTBTR.com Sayar points his finger at the French anti-doping lab in Chatenay-Malabry where his samples from the Tour of Algeria were tested. A urine sample from March 11 flagged a positive for EPO.

"They opened my B-sample because they said the A-sample was not big enough after they used it for testosterone testing. I don't believe that. I gave 170cc of urine. Even after the testosterone tests which came back normal, there should have been enough for other testing. There are other things going on that I can not understand."

The Turkish rider who contacted a Spanish lawyer to investigate his right for appeal, contradicts the press release the UCI sent out on Monday whch stated that the rider has the right to request analysis of his B-sample. "According to the rules it would have to be done in the same laboratory in France. They will come up with the same result but any test in any other lab would be negative."

Sayar beat Berhane of the French Europcar team and three French riders: Yoan Bagot, Maxime Mederel and Nicolas Edet. He thinks the French lab deliberately made a mistake with his samples. "I beat three French riders in the overall classification. Even during the Tour of Turkey their teams put pressure on my federation to make me leave. Or else they would leave."

The testing from the Tour of Turkey itself hasn't been published yet. In 2011, when Sayar's teammate Ivailo Gabrovski tested positive for EPO, the results came out on July 18. Sayar himself thinks his tests from the Tour of Turkey came back negative. "If those tests were positive they would have been published much sooner," he told MTBTR.com. "I think my tests from the Tour of Turkey were clean and that therefore they started looking at earlier samples from my race in Algeria."

Sayar is provisionally suspended untill a hearing panel convened by the Turkish Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation.

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