UCI suspends Landaluze and Serrano for CERA use

Spaniard Inigo Landaluze (Euskaltel-Euskadi) accepted responsibility for a doping positive in a statement issued Friday. He absolved the Fundación Euskadi and all members of his team of any involvement.

Landaluze and compatriot Ricardo Serrano (Fuji-Servetto) were provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for the EPO derivative CERA.

The riders have the option to request that the B-samples be opened and tested.

Landaluze tested positive twice, the UCI said. He returned positive controls on June 7 during the Dauphine Libere and on June 16 at an out-of-competition control.

The 32-year-old tested positive for testosterone during the 2005 Dauphine Libere. However, he was allowed to return to racing after the case was dismissed for procedural errors.

In a statement released Friday afternoon, his Euskaltel-Euskadi team said that if the charges were upheld, it would take appropriate legal action against the rider.

Serrano's positive control came during the Tour de Suisse, on June 13. CERA was also found in a blood sample that he supplied for the biological passport programme before the Giro d'Italia on May 7.

“Although no B sample was collected for this test, the UCI believes that the report, which confirms the presence of CERA, adds evidence to the assertion that Mr. Serrano has committed an anti-doping rule violation,” the UCI said.

Serrano had already been suspended by Fuji-Servetto after it was announced on June 18 that he was one of the first five riders found to have abnormal blood values under the biological passport programme.

“The results of these analyses will be added to the evidence already provided to the Spanish Cycling Federation relating to the abnormal blood profile of Mr Serrano,” according to the UCI.

The two Spaniards will remain suspended until the Spanish Cycling Federation holds hearings and makes a determination as to whether they have violated the anti-doping rules.

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