Mosquera calls for doping inquiry to be closed

Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for an EPO masking agent.

Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for an EPO masking agent. (Image credit: AFP Photo)

Spanish rider Ezequiel Mosquera today called for authorities to close the anti-doping inquiry which began almost six months ago after his sample from the 2010 Vuelta a España returned an adverse analytical finding for hydroxyethyl starch (HES).

Mosquera claims in a press release that HES is not considered a doping substance, and says that he is not suspended from competition. The rider said a letter from the UCI received on February 18 confirms that he has not been provisionally suspended.

His Vacansoleil team, however, has chosen not to allow Mosquera to race until the case is resolved.

The World Anti-doping Agency's 2010 prohibited list included HES as a "specified substance", meaning that it comes with no provisional suspension under the UCI's anti-doping rules, but it is banned in competition for intravenous use.

According to an anti-doping expert contacted by Cyclingnews, HES is prohibited as a masking agent which in itself is not performance enhancing, but can be used to alter irregular blood values caused by EPO use or blood transfusion which may raise flags in the UCI's biological passport programme.

However, Mosquera said, "Unlike what is generally assumpted (sic), Hydroxyethyl starch doesn't hide doping substances. This was proven through other cases, where laboratories could detect hydroxyethyl starch together with EPO."

"The analyses from the WADA accredited laboratory in Köln guaranteed that in my samples there is only Hydroxyethyl starch and there are no doping substances," he added, clarifying that the lab looked for EPO in his sample and did not find any.

"I didn't request the analysis of the B sample. With this decision, my only goal was to accelerate the process.

"I presented my report and explanation to the UCI last 10th December. Since this day I am waiting for an answer. I fully understand that it is not easy to take a decision and therefore with this press release I surely don't want to criticize the involved authorities."

Mosquera asked for the case to be closed, saying, "By closing the case now it avoids more damage for my reputation, the reputation of cycling and it avoids more uncertainty for my team and family."

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