Dekker's counter-analysis positive for EPO

Dutchman Thomas Dekker positive for EPO

Dutchman Thomas Dekker positive for EPO (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker announced on Wednesday that counter-analysis has confirmed his positive test for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

He "acknowledges that he has made a mistake, he takes full responsibility," his lawyer Hans Van Oijen said in a press statement. "Thomas Dekker regrets his mistake; he will apologise and be held accountable, where possible."

An anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, Germany, found Dekker positive on June 20 after performing analysis on an out-of-competition control conducted in December 2007. It released the positive result prior to the Tour de France this year, where Dekker was scheduled to race. Silence-Lotto removed him from their Tour team and suspended him on July 1.

Dekker, 25, rode for Dutch team Rabobank at the time of the test. He left the Dutch squad last August and joined Belgium's Silence-Lotto at the start of this season.

In the press statement today, Dekker said the drug use was a one-time mistake and that he wants to return to cycling to prove he achieved his past results because of his talent and his teams' help. He faces a likely two-year suspension before he can return.

Dekker is a two-time Dutch time trial champion and winner of the 2006 Tirreno-Adriatico and 2007 Tour de Romandie.

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