The doping positive of 2008 Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez has been confirmed by analysis of the rider's B-sample, the Spanish newspaper Marca reported on Wednesday. Although the UCI has yet to announce the verdict of the Spaniard's anti-doping rule violation, the rider's attorneys informed Marca of the result.
Sanchez was provisionally suspended after an out-of-competition doping control on August 9, 2017 showed evidence of growth hormone-releasing peptide 2 (GHRP-2), a drug that increases the body's levels of growth hormone.
The drug, manufactured by Kaken Pharmaceuticals under the name Pralmorelin, is used to diagnose growth hormone deficiency and is a WADA-prohibited substance. A number of athletes have been sanctioned for its use. Colombian Maria Luisa Calle was the first cyclist to test positive for it in 2015 at the Pan American Games, while Russian Tatiana Antoshina and Italian Samuele Conti were banned after testing positive for GHRP in 2016.
Earlier this week, Stefano Pirazzi was given a four-year ban for testing positive for GHRP-2 before this year's Giro d'Italia. His Bardiani-CSF teammate Nicola Ruffoni was also provisionally suspended for a GHRP-2 positive taken one day earlier, but his case has not yet been resolved.
BMC also provisionally suspended Sanchez following the announcement of his initial positive test, pending the analysis of the B-sample. BMC has since confirmed that his "contract with the team was terminated with immediate effect" following the release of the B-sample.
The 39-year-old had been due to compete in the Vuelta a Espana and was contemplating retirement, and said the test result came as a complete surprise in August.
"I am 39, I have been a professional for 19 years, and I am at the point of retiring," he said. "Why would I get into this?"
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