British Cycling president Bob Howden says that Rob Townsend’s positive test for doping is proof that anti-doping measures are working.
Townsend, 46, is banned from all sporting competition until October 2019 following ruling by UK Anti-Doping authority, after the Team Swift rider testing positive for the stimulant modafinil in a 100-mile time trial in September.
His suspension follows that of Andrew Hastings, while Gabriel Evans is awaiting his sanction after admitting using EPO during the Junior 10-mile Championships in 2015.
Howden, who received an OBE in the New Year’s Honours list, was saddened by the latest doping case to hit the sport – in particular its amateur ranks – but decided to highlight the positive preventive work.
“This case highlights the clear position that UKAD and British Cycling share – that banned substances have no place in sport and riders caught with banned substances in their system will not be allowed to compete,” Howden said.
“British Cycling’s anti-doping culture is strong and we work closely with UKAD to deter all forms of doping and ensure that anyone falling foul of the rules is caught.
“I am saddened by any such instance, but the anti-doping system is working and we can take heart from that.
“British Cycling keeps its anti-doping work under regular review and our anti-doping commission will consider any implications from this case when it next meets in early February.”
Once Evans’ sanction is confirmed – originally due to be confirmed in early January – there will be four British cyclists on the banned list: Evans, Townsend, Hastings and Jason White.
Cycling Time Trials National Secretary Nick Sharpe told CW that the organisation is concerned by the number of positive tests in its events, but that it does not foresee any more doping cases coming to light.