After 18-year-old rider Gabriel Evans admitted to EPO use, he explains his decision to take the banned drug


Gabriel Evans explained that curiosity mixed with loss of his 2014 national 25-mile time trial title acted as catalysts for his decision to take EPO earlier this year.

The 18 year-old, who admitted to using the banned blood booster in a statement earlier on Thursday, told Cycling Weekly that a recent BBC TV documentary on doping had contributed to his decision to dope.

“A lot of it was curiosity. I watched the BBC Panorama documentary [‘Catch Me If You Can’] and there was certainly an element of curiosity,” he said. “There were lots of factors at play. It’s all a bit of a mess.

>>> Junior time trial champion Gabriel Evans admits EPO use

The loss of his title over 25 miles on August 1, he added, also contributed to his decision to use EPO. Evans, then riding for Catford CC-Equipe Banks, came second at the event in Essex, won by James Garratt (Welland Valley CC).

“That was a catalyst,” he said. “I got beaten by a lot, and when you get beaten by a lot you start questioning things. You question other people. I’m not trying to justify it, but when there is that much media exposure, about EPO, it is easy to be tempted. A big factor was losing that title.”

Evans declined to comment when asked exactly how he obtained the EPO and whether his actions involved others.

He explained in his statement that the father of his then teammate discovered the drug on a training camp in France in August this year, reporting the findings to UK Anti-Doping.

Evans confirmed that he has spoken to UK Anti-Doping and is waiting to hear about his sanction. UKAD does not currently list him as a banned athlete.

Cycling Weekly contacted UKAD who declined comment on specific ongoing cases.

Evans’s statement comes on the same day that UKAD confirmed that Andy Hastings had been banned for four years due to an anti-doping rule violation. Evans explained that the response to his own statement has been tricky to come to terms with.

>>> Banned cyclist Hastings cites borrowed used syringe as reason for failed steroids test

“I’ve been reading through the comments [on the forum], and it’s not unexpected, it’s the internet, people say a lot of things,” he said.

“There were some people calling for a lifetime ban and it’s tricky to deal with that. I’m not going to get a lifetime ban and there will hopefully come a point where I want to come back into the sport, and there will be people I’m sure who will have strong opinions on that.

“All I can affect moving forward is how I portray myself, I want to come across as a David Millar and not a Lance Armstrong. I just have to figure out a way of dealing with that as best I can.”

  • Eden Walker

    if you aren’t willing to tell about how you got the EPO then you take the fall for everyone and if i were UKAD you’d never enter a competition again. Doping needs massive penalties including lifetime bans

  • Cris Doyle

    I’d favour harsher punishments for those who refuse to cooperate. E.g., if you tell all, revealing suppliers, dodgy coaches etc. you get the basic two years. If you say nothing, four and above.

  • Wasmopolitan

    Lifetime ban or legalise. Everything else is consent.

  • MrHaematocrit

    The fact he declined to comment when asked exactly how he obtained the EPO and whether his actions involved others leaves questions unanswered until such time as he provides these details he should have a lifetime ban. If doping is rife in his club or those associated coach other young riders could be at risk of following the same path. If they are not involved he also owes their commitment and support to him to clearing them of all wrong doing.

  • JodyC

    This is the worst part of the story ”

    Evans declined to comment when asked exactly how he obtained the EPO and whether his actions involved others.

    more at” Who’s he covering for?

  • Anthony Jackson

    I got beaten by quite a bit at a stage race at the end of this 2015 season. I was well below par and was no where near where I wanted to be…. where as at the start of the season (by my own relative standards) I was nailing it, yet I just thought about my training not googling EPO…. I also watched the documentary and was alarmed/disgusted by what can be achieved with micro-dosing. Go ahead, experiment with it, if that takes your fancy, but the issue here is that he went to compete, knowing he had taken something…….If “Mr X” wants to take peds so he can ride more comfortably, or recovery quicker so he isn’t tired for work the next day, then I have not issue with that, you cross the line when you race. Millar/Armstrong still cheated and they were both punished.

  • Nic Lowe

    Another one bites the dust. C’est la vie.

  • ummm…

    aaahhhh lol. sup Harri

  • Harri


  • ummm…

    sacrifices for our entertainment!

  • Simon E

    If David Millar is his example or role model then did he not think that it would be wise to skip the doping bit? Learn from others’ mistakes rather than repeating them.

    Regardless of whether he returns to the sport (or any sport), I
    sincerely hope he will receive better guidance and advice than he has
    had to date.