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CAS suspends Mayo for two years

Spaniard Iban Mayo during the 2007 Tour de France

Spaniard Iban Mayo during the 2007 Tour de France
(Image credit: Gregor Brown)

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) suspended Iban Mayo for two years, backdated to July 31, 2007. The CAS ruled in confirmation Tuesday morning that the Spanish rider tested positive for EPO during the 2007 Tour de France.

The International Cycling Union (UCI) appealed the decision by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) to drop the charges against Mayo.

Mayo underwent a doping control on July 24, 2007, during the Tour. The A-sample – tested in France's Châtenay-Malabry lab (LNDD) – showed EPO. A lab in Gent, Belgium, tested the B-sample as the LNDD was closed for vacation. The Gent lab requested the opinion of the lab in Sydney, Australia, which found the sample to be "inconclusive."

At that point, the RFEC ruled that the test was negative and dropped its proceedings against Mayo. However, the UCI then asked the LNDD to test the B-sample, to which Mayo protested. The LNDD announced on December 6, 2007, that the B-sample was also positive for EPO.

The CAS ruled that the UCI's decision to seek a new analysis of the B-Sample "was in accordance with the letter and the spirit of the UCI Anti-Doping Regulations and of the international standard for laboratories. Furthermore, the panel stated that the two analyses performed by the LNDD had brought clear evidence of the presence of recombinant EPO (Erythropoietin) in the urine of Mayo."

Mayo, 30, has not ridden since his team fired him on July 31, 2007. He rode for Saunier Duval, which again came into doping problems this summer, when Riccardo Riccò tested positive for EPO during the 2008 Tour (SW).