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Spanish fed won't sanction Mayo

Spanish cycling's secretary general Eugenio Bermudez has refused to sanction Iban Mayo, the Saunier Duval rider whose positive test for the banned blood boosting hormone EPO raised questions about the UCI's testing procedures. Mayo's 'A-sample' from the second rest day of the 2007 Tour de France was found to be positive for EPO by the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory in Paris, but the 'B-sample' test done in Gent, Belgium was reported as negative by the Spanish federation in October.

The UCI, however, claimed that the result was not negative, but was inconclusive, and sent the remainder of the 'B-sample' back to Paris for another test. The second result was positive. Bermudez objected to the treatment of the 'B-sample' by the UCI. "They wanted that second test because they are more interested in a result that works for them," he said.

Mayo was furious with the procedure, asserting his innocence and calling the third test 'illegal'. Bermudez expects that by refusing to sanction Mayo, his organisation will face strong opposition from the UCI. "It's not voluntary but I expect (a confrontation) to come," Bermudez told The Associated Press. "If there was another manner of doing this we would prefer to do it that way but there doesn't seem to be any other route out of this."

"To satisfy people, what do we have to do? Change the laws? Kill each cyclist's career?," Bermudez asked. "There are laws for everyone – cyclists, politicians, the UCI – and if Mayo had tested positive on that same day he would have been sanctioned," Bermudez said. "But the UCI is reading the rules in its own manner, which just doesn't work for us."

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