Vuelta a Costa Rica winner among 12 riders to test positive in 2017 edition

UCI announces a dozen provisional suspensions for Adverse Analytical Findings for CERA and EPO

The UCI announced Wednesday that 12 riders were notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for samples collected on December 22, 2017 during the Vuelta Ciclista Internacional a Costa Rica.

"In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the riders have been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the matter,” read a statement from the UCI.

The list of riders include overall race winner Juan Carlos Rojas Villalegas, third-place finisher Cesar Andres Rojas Villalegas, Jewinson Leandro Varela Zuniga, stage 4 winner Vladimir Fernandez Torres, Jose Alexis Rodriquez Villalobos, Jason Huertas Araya, Jose Irias, Gabriel Eduardo Marin Sanchez, leader after stage 2 Melvin Mora Garita, Kevin Murillo Solano and Jordy Sandoval.

All were notified of an AAF of the third-generation blood booster EPO-CERA, except Jeancarlo Padilla, who was notified of an AAF of EPO. Both CERA and EPO are classified as "Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics" as per the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List.

Each rider has the opportunity to request and attend the analysis of the B sample.

According to a statement from the UCI, they were intelligence-led doping controls that were planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

The CADF had assistance from the Federacion Costarricense de Ciclismo, the Comisión Nacional Antidopaje de Costa Rica and the Instituto Costarricense del Deporte y la Recreacion.

The mass-positives come two months after eight riders tested positive for banned substances at the Vuelta a Colombia in similar intelligence-led controls.

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