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Rabobank rider snared by the biological passport
The UCI has formally requested a disciplinary proceedings to be opened against Carlos Barredo of the Rabobank team for apparent violations of the Anti-Doping Rules on the basis of the information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport. The team has suspended him.
The UCI issued a statement saying it has informed all the parties concerned: Barredo, Spain's Consejo Superior de Deportes, the Rabobank Cycling Team and the World Anti-Doping Agency. The UCI reiterated Barredo’s right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made on this matter and said they would not provide any additional information.
Barredo tweeted, "In this unbelivible and surrealist moment I want to say THANKS to Rabobank Cycling Team, for suppor me from the first moent! GRACIAS AMIGOS".
In a press release issued Thursday afternoon, Rabobank said that Barredo has consistently denied to them that he had any involvement in doping. "If it appears that this statement is not true, then that is unacceptable to the team. Pending the judgment of the Spanish Federation and the outcome (of the proceedings), Carlos Barredo is suspended. His contract expires the end 2012. The Rabo Cycling Teams will follow all the steps of the procedure of the Spanish cycling federation.
"The Rabobank team stands behind the blood passport, the team stands for a clean sport. The Rabobank team is co-initiator of the blood passport and helps to improve the blood passport."
The 31-year-old Spaniard has not competed since the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, with Robabank announcing he would not race while he and team tried to explain unusual variations in his biological passport data. That process has apparently ended, with the UCI believing that Barredo has a case to answer.
Along with Yaroslav Popovych, Barredo topped a UCI list which ranked competitors at the 2010 Tour de France according to suspicions of blood doping based on biological passport data, a document leaked by L’Equipe in May of last year. The two scored 10 out 10 on the UCI's "index of suspicion."
Barredo was in the headlines for all the wrong reasons in the 2010 Tour de France when he started a fight with Rui Costa. Seconds after crossing the line at the end of stage 6, he took out his front wheel and began to hit the Portuguese rider. The two were separated by other soigneurs at the finish.
Rabobank has continued to support Barredo as he awaited a final outcome. He will now have to try to prove that his blood value variations highlighted by the biological passport are normal or face a two-year ban for doping.
In a tweet message published on October 7, Barredo said: "I continue training and waiting. Only I can say thanks to Rabobank Cycling Team, my family and the people who are supporting and helping me.