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Sevilla tests positive for blood expander

Oscar Sevilla has been provisionally suspended after returning a positive urine test for hydroxyethyl starch at the Vuelta a Colombia on 15 August 2010. He will remain suspended until a Spanish Cycling Federation panel convenes to deliberate on his case.

“The decision to provisionally suspend Mr. Sevilla was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Bogota indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of Hydroxyethyl starch in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Vuelta a Colombia on 15 August 2010,” read a UCI statement.

Hydroxyethyl starch, or HES, is a blood plasma volume expander that has been abused by athletes to keep blood values within the normal range after boosting red blood cell production through EPO or similar drugs.

Sevilla finished second overall at the Colombian race after winning the final time trial. He hasn’t raced for a top-level European team since he was fired by T-Mobile in relation to his involvement in the Operación Puerto doping case. Along with his then teammate Jan Ullrich, Sevilla was not allowed to start the 2006 Tour de France as a result of being linked to the investigation.

Sevilla subsequently raced for the Relax-Gam team before joining the controversial Rock Racing outfit in 2008. The Spaniard began his career at Kelme and enjoyed his best season in 2001, winning the white jersey at the Tour de France and finishing 2nd overall at the Vuelta a España.

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Barry Ryan

Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.