Oscar Sevilla (Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antiquia) has been handed a six month suspension by the Spanish Cycling Federation for his Hydroxyethyl Starch (HES) positive that occurred in last year’s Vuelta a Colombia.
The announcement comes after a protracted 13 month investigation into Sevilla’s actions, and the nature of the case. He was initially banned from racing in September, 2010, however the Spanish Federation allowed him to go back to competition in late October because the substance does not carry an automatic provisional suspension under WADA rules.
He has since raced at a number of events including this year’s Vuelta a Colombia, the Tour of Utah, and most recently at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. It is yet unknown if he will be stripped of his results at these races.
Sevilla’s team, Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antiquia, has decided to stand by him, commenting in an official release that after careful analysis of the findings in the report from the Spanish Federation, it can find no wrong in the 34-year-old’s actions, although it does accept that he will have to serve a suspension.
"In the analysis of the case, the resolution acknowledges that [the positive test] was involuntary, due to emergency medical treatment, and the substance Hydroxyethyl Starch did not increase athletic performance by Oscar Sevilla," it stated.
"Once he completes the penalty, we will bring him back to the elite team's roster for the 2012 cycling season."
Hydroxyethyl Starch, a blood volume expander sometimes used to treat trauma patients does not directly enhance performance, however some experts have commented that it can be used as a masking agent for the use of EPO or other blood manipulations.
Sevilla’s suspension started on the September 14 and will finish in March 14, 2012. The Spaniard will not appeal the suspension.