Explanations demanded for Guatemala positives

The Guatemalan cycling federation, which was criticised by its local press for its silence, has now demanded explanations from the nine riders that tested positive for banned drugs during this year's edition of the race. The winner, Guatemalan Lisandro Ajcú, and the next three riders on the general classification were all implicated in what is turning into the biggest doping scandal in the race's 47 year history. Seven of the riders tested positive for EPO, while two were positive for testosterone and one rider tested positive for the stimulant, Nikethamide.

The Venezuelan cycling federation has convened the two Venezuelans involved, Noel Vásquez and Yeisson Delgado, to appear in front of its disciplinary commission on January 4. Vásquez was the cyclist who tested positive for Nikethamide and is a two-time winner of the Vuelta al Táchira. If sanctioned, he will not be able to take part in his national tour which starts on January 8.

Delgado tested positive for EPO, and if confirmed he will be the first Venezuelan rider to fail an EPO test, but not the first one to be sanctioned over EPO. In the Tour de Guadeloupe this year, Venezuelan Tony Linares was found in possession of EPO and other drugs, and he was subsequently given a four year ban by his national federation.

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