Venezuelans to be sanctioned in Guatemala doping affair

The two Venezuelans involved in the Vuelta a Guatemala doping affair, in which the four top GC riders and five others tested positive for drugs, will be sanctioned by the Venezuelan cycling federation after its disciplinary commission heard the case on January 4. Yeisson Delgado has admitted to taking EPO (one of seven positives for that drug), while Noel Vásquez, who finished second on GC, admitted to taking the stimulant Nikethamide, claiming it was for personal problems. Delgado could be suspended for up to two years, but Vásquez risks a lifetime ban after he also tested positive five years ago. However, the Venezuelan cycling federation will probably let him off with a lighter sentence due to the reasons given by the rider.

Vasquez said, "I was taking an antidepressant after the death of my parents, but I did not know that it would make me positive. I now have to expect a sanction from the UCI in my case."

In addition to the Venezuelans, Guatemalan winner Lizandro Acjú (EPO), compatriots Nery Velásquez (EPO), Abel Jocholá (Testosterone), David Calanche (EPO), Colombian Federico Muñoz (EPO), Mexican Carlos López González (Testosterone and EPO), and El Salvadoran José Reynaldo Murillo (EPO) will likely also face sanctions in what is the biggest doping affair to hit the race since five riders tested positive in the 2001 edition.

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