Canadian cyclist Benjamin Martel has been sanctioned for the presence of the banned substance testosterone in his system after testing positive at the Quebec Provincial Championships in August of last year.
He becomes the third rider to go positive after the recent EPO related bans of Miguel Agreda and Arnaud Papillon that were handed down in October and November.
Martel chose to have a hearing in his case which extended the length of the proceedings. The final decision of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre arbitrator was only provided on January 23 after a nearly 6 month process. He has been given a two year ban from the sport in line with the WADA code.
John Tolkamp, President of the Canadian Cycling Association, reflected that cases like this would only strengthen the resolve to of the association to encourage and educate young cyclists to "race clean".
"This case of doping further highlights the need for continued testing and education. We must continue to educate the young riders on the need to Race Clean and be proud of their accomplishments in that vain while being vigilant towards those that will take short cuts."
In the wake of the positives of Agreda and Papillon, a number of high profile Canadian athletes and stakeholders came out in defence of the sport. Among others, David Veilleux (Europcar) was adamant that "to race cleanly and win is possible."
The CCA has also renewed its own stance which it says "takes strong measures to monitor, test and educate athletes in the sport."