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Dekker caught under biological passport programme

Thomas Dekker (Middle)

Thomas Dekker (Middle) (Image credit: Daniel Simms)

Thomas Dekker will be pursued for doping under the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport programme, it was announced on Wednesday. The UCI has notified the rider, who lives in Monaco, of his positive test for EPO and instructed the Monagasque Cycling Federation to open proceedings.

The case is the result of the UCI's blood passport programme. According to its press statement, the UCI's evidence is based on Dekker's haematological profile, as well as the presence of EPO in the urine sample taken in an out-of-competition control conducted in December 2007.

Dekker's profile “demonstrates convincing evidence of the use of the prohibited method of enhancement of oxygen transfer," said the UCI.

The Dutch rider's haematological profile led the UCI to review the EPO analyses for urine samples conducted since the introduction of the biological passport programme. An anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, Germany, re-examined the December 2007 sample, and on June 20 reported finding EPO in the same.

Belgian team Silence-Lotto announced earlier Wednesday afternoon that it had removed Dekker from its Tour de France squad and placed him on non-active status.