By Gregor Brown
Ukrainian Volodymyr Bileka quit the sport and Team Silence-Lotto in May due to a positive control for Erythropoietin (EPO). An International Cycling Union (UCI) document stated the reason for the questionable resignation of Bileka, close friend of Yaroslav Popovych and ex-domestique of Lance Armstrong.
Bileka tested positive on April 18 in an out-of-competition control. He participated in the Amstel Gold and was in an escape group in the Flèche Wallonne – April 20 and 23 – before he faxed his resignation to Silence-Lotto on May 3.
The International Cycling Union ruled the 29-year-old should be ineligible to race for two years – June 1, 2008, to May 31, 2010 – on October 9. The Ukrainian cycling federation should follow through with a two-year suspension.
Bileka turned professional with Landbouwkrediet - Colnago in 2002. He remained with the Belgium-based team through 2004. He accompanied compatriot Popovych to American Team Discovery Channel for three years, 2005 to 2007. This year they both raced for Silence-Lotto.
Popovych broke his contract with Silence-Lotto and will return to the side of Armstrong for 2009 at Team Astana.