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Blaza Klemencic tests positive for EPO

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Blaza Klemencic (Slovenian National Team)

Blaza Klemencic (Slovenian National Team) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia)

Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia) (Image credit: Tour of Japan)
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Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia)

Blaza Klemencic (Slovenia) (Image credit: Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor)
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Blaza Klemencic

Blaza Klemencic (Image credit: Armin Küstenbrück/Marius Maasewerd)
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Blaza Klemencic (Slovenian National Team) wins

Blaza Klemencic (Slovenian National Team) wins (Image credit: Tour of Japan)

Blaza Klemencic has been provisionally suspended following the retrospective testing of a 2012 sample for EPO. The 27 March, 2012 sample is the same date as that of Katusha rider Giampaolo Caruso who tested positive to the same substance last month. Klemencic's sample was stored and reanalysed in light of new scientific developments. 

The announcement was made on the UCI's list of provisionally suspended riders which also revealed Alexey Shmidt tested positive to EPO in a sample collected from 15 November, 2011. 

The 35-year-old Slovenian MTB rider competed at both the Beijing and London Olympics and won the 2004 European Marathon championships title. Klemencic also medalled in the marathon at the 2004 and 2005 MTB World Championships and won the silver medal at the 2014 MTB European Championships cross country race.

The UCI announced at the time of Caruso's positive test of a new approach to re-test past samples.

"As per the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI ADR, the UCI has established a Storage and Reanalysis Strategy. The strategy, implemented by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), provides that samples from the leaders of the Grand Tours, UCI World Championships and general rankings of all cycling disciplines will be stored for potential retesting," the UCI statement read. "Other samples, based on risk assessment carried out by the CADF, laboratory recommendations, Athlete Biological Passport data, new detection methods and scientific developments, will also be retained for retesting. The standard time of storage and further reanalysis under this strategy is up to 10 years."