The UCI has announced that David Garcia (Xacobeo-Galicia) returned a positive test for EPO at the Vuelta a España. The Spanish rider was already serving a provisional suspension after testing positive for blood volume expander Hydroxethal starch at the same event.
Garcia’s positive test for EPO came on September 13, after stage 16 to the summit of the Alto de Cotobello. His sample was tested in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Madrid.
Last week, it was announced that Garcia also tested positive for Hydroxethal starch after stage 18 to Salamanca. On that occasion, Garcia’s sample was tested in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany. Garcia’s Xacobeo-Galicia teammate Ezequiel Mosquera also returned a positive test for Hydroxethal starch on the same day. The team announced its departure from the sport last week.
Garcia’s second positive test bears out observations made last week by Dr. Conor McGrane, Medical Officer for Cycling Ireland. Dr. McGrane explained in detail to Cyclingnews how Hydroxethal starch is "basically a masking agent" for EPO.
The UCI statement on Garcia’s Adverse Analytical Finding for EPO said that the rider will remain provisionally suspended until a panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation hears his case. Garcia retains the right to request the analysis of his B sample.