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Former Australian pro suspended

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) has suspended a rider for two years for having used prohibited substances in 2003 and 2004, although he never returned a positive test. Mark Roland accepted the ban and will be eligible to ride again in April 2010.

Roland, 30, was a stagiaire with Landbouwkrediet-Colnago in 2001 and Palmans-Collstrop in 2002, before riding for the Giant Asia Racing Team in 2003. He was found to have used human growth hormone on two occasions in 2003 and the anabolic steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) twice in 2003 and once in 2004. The violations fall within the World Anti-Doping Agency's eight years statute of limitations.

"This sanction clearly illustrates that athletes do not need to return a positive test to be found to have violated anti-doping rules," ASADA Chairman Richard Ings said. "In this case ASADA investigators, working in partnership with other government agencies, identified and prosecuted a serious doping violation that could not have been detected through normal testing procedures."

Roland continued to ride for local Australian teams and clubs through April of this year. He has been ordered to forfeit all competitions from August 27, 2003, when he first used the human growth hormone, through his last competition on April 25 of this year. He will be eligible to start competing again on April 24, 2010.

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