The winner of this year's Vuelta a Guatemala, Nery Velásquez, has been tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. According to Prensa Libre, Velásquez' A sample taken during the stage 11 of the event has showed the use of an anabolic steroid developed for veterinary use, Boldenone.
The Guatamalan, who has denied taking anything prohibited and requested the analysis of the B sample, could face the end of his career if the result is confirmed. Velásquez already served a two-year suspension after a 2004 doping control found him positive for EPO.
"To me, this result is strange, because I was tested every day since the start of the Vuelta," said Velásquez. "I was tested on ten occasions. I just hope that something strange happened."
A teammate of Velásquez, Alfredo Ajpacajá, also returned a positive result during the race. Velásquez and Ajpacajá both ride for Café Quetzal.
The president of the Guatemalan cycling federation, Alfredo Flores, has already indicated that if Velásquez' B sample confirms his doping, the overall honours of the Vuelta a Guatemala would go to the runner-up, Juan Carlos Rojas of the Costa Rican team.
The news comes as another blow to Guatemalan cycling since a major doping affair occurred at the 2004 Vuelta a Guatemala, where nine riders tested positive.