UCI says Mayo case not closed

Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval-Prodir)

Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval-Prodir) (Image credit: Sirotti)

The UCI said on Tuesday that it does not consider Iban Mayo's doping case to be fully closed and took issue with the Spanish Cycling Federation's announcement that Mayo's B sample had tested negative for EPO. "It wasn't a negative B sample it was an inconclusive B sample," Anne Gripper, UCI anti-doping manager told AP. "The case for us is still very open, we have not gotten a final resolution on the B sample. It needs to be analysed in the Paris laboratory."

A sample given by Mayo on July 24, the Tour de France's second rest day, tested positive for EPO and the rider was subsequently suspended without pay from his Saunier Duval team.

According to Gripper, Mayo's B sample was transferred to a laboratory in Gent, Belgium because the Châtenay-Malabry laboratory in Paris, where the original sample was tested, was closed for the holidays. "To ensure that the rider could have the B sample done more quickly, we transferred the sample, but the Gent laboratory just couldn't get the sample to confirm the Paris result," said Gripper.

"In Gent, they use a slightly different technique [than the Paris laboratory]," she added.

The UCI has now requested the Spanish Cycling Federation fully explain its decision to close the case. "We are waiting for the Spanish federation's report but anyway, the B sample will be tested again in Paris," UCI president Pat McQuaid told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the rider himself said on Monday that he was considering taking legal action against the UCI. "I have to talk to my lawyer," Mayo told Spanish newspaper El Correo. "It's been shown that the whole process was a disaster. Someone will have to pay for this."

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