Ag2r La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu has stated his team will not take part in next month's Critérium du Dauphiné if Sylvain Georges' positive test for Heptaminol is confirmed. Georges is awaiting results of the analysis of his B sample taken at the Giro d'Italia on May 10, having admitted taking a product called Ginkor Fort to improve circulation in his legs.
Speaking to Le Dauphiné just before undertaking reconnaissance of the Tour de France time trial between Embrun and Chorges, Lavenu said, "If this new analysis is positive, in accordance with our commitments, we will not participate in the Critérium du Dauphiné."
Ag2r is a member of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), which rules that a team that has had two positives within 12 months must suspend itself from racing for eight days as of the start of the next WorldTour race. The news about Georges comes after Ag2r's Steve Houanard tested positive for EPO last fall.
"I don't know what the consequences are but it is fair to say that I am worried about the future of the team," Lavenu admitted.
Describing himself as "discouraged" and "going through a bad moment", Lavenu said of Georges: "I am sure he had no desire to cheat but he should have informed our doctor. It's an error, a negligent thing to do, which is costing us very, very dearly."
In an open letter published on Wednesday, Georges said, "I took Ginkor Fort, which is freely available without prescription. Now it appears that that medicine contains a very small dose of the prohibited substance Heptaminol, which I had never heard of before today.
"I did not study the composition of the drug and did not consult the team doctor before taking it… I haven't cheated and I will do all that is in my power to prove my good faith."
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Peter Cossins has written about professional cycling since 1993 and is a contributing editor to Procycling. He is the author of The Monuments: The Grit and the Glory of Cycling's Greatest One-Day Races (Bloomsbury, March 2014) and has translated Christophe Bassons' autobiography, A Clean Break (Bloomsbury, July 2014).
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