Iban Mayo was stunned to hear of his positive doping test, telling team manager Joxean Fernandez Matxin: "It's impossible, it's impossible," according to dpa. Meanwhile, UCI president Pat McQuaid has said Mayo had been targeted by the governing body as a suspicious rider.
"In the future I will check my riders every day, even if it means I have to strip them naked," Matxin said.
It was announced Monday evening that Mayo had tested positive for EPO on the Tour de France's second rest day. The Spanish rider was suspended by his Saunier Duval squad instantly, and faces termination if his B sample is returned non-negative.
"It's another sad episode in the Tour de France," McQuaid said in an interview with Reuters. "People need to understand, the riders need to understand that that the UCI operates in a different way than in the past.
"Thanks to the blood tests, we target riders, Iban Mayo was one of the UCI targets," he added. "The riders have to understand that we use intelligence to target some of them. It is surprising that the riders still use it knowing it is detectable."
McQuaid also explained how the UCI came to catch Alexander Vinokourov for homologous blood-doping, saying that the Kazakh rider probably didn't know that the French lab used during the Tour could conduct the appropriate test. "Up to this year, only the Lausanne laboratory [in Switzerland - ed] was conducting tests for homologous blood-doping," McQuaid said. "But the Lausanne lab taught the French one how to detect it and therefore they were able to test Vinokourov's sample." SW