Pantano tested positive for the blood boosting drug Erythropoietin (EPO) in an out-of-competition anti-doping control on February 26. News of the case broke on April 15, and the Colombian rider was suspended by his Trek-Segafredo team.
Pantano has remained silent in the past week but on Monday he posted a short statement on Twitter.
“Hello, my people. I only have words of gratitude for the support in these moments,” he wrote, followed by four bicep emojis.
“We are waiting, wishing for everything to be resolved. Truly, thanks a million for believing in me and trusting me. God bless you.”
Pantano, a stage winner at the 2016 Tour de France, tested positive for EPO two days after the final stage of the Tour du Haut Var, where he finished 20th. He then rode Paris-Nice before abandoning the Volta a Catalunya on the opening stage on March 25, and hasn’t raced since.
He has been provisionally suspended by Trek-Segafredo, for whom he has ridden since 2017, but is expected to request analysis of his B-sample from the UCI’s Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation. If that sample confirms the presence of EPO, he faces a ban of four years.
Pantano is the second Colombian pro to test positive for EPO this month, after Manzana Postobon rider Wilmar Paredes, and the second from Trek-Segafredo in recent years after Andre Cardoso, who received a four-year ban last November.
In all, there are 17 athletes who are currently serving suspensions for EPO on the UCI Anti-Doping Rule Violation list, and 22 suspended for a related drug CERA.
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