Spain?s Iban Mayo has joined the growing list of riders banned for EPO after the Court of Arbitration ruled in favour of the UCI after a long legal battle with the Spanish Cycling Federation.
Mayo finished 16th in the 2007 Tour de France but then tested positive for the blood boosting drug in a test taken on the second rest day and carried out in Paris. Mayo was riding for the Saunier Duval team at the time but his positive for EPO went largely unnoticed because of the other big-name doping scandals during the 2007 Tour de France.
Mayo?s positive turned into a long legal battle because the Spanish Cycling Federation refused to judge the case because Mayo?s B sample was tested in Ghent and then in a further test in Sydney, with both labs failing to confirm the positive.
The Paris lab was closed for holidays in August but after going around the globe, the UCI sent Mayo?s B sample to Paris and the French confirmed their first test in December, some five months after the announcing the A sample was positive. Just like the A sample, the B sample was confirmed positive when test results were studied by the Lausanne lab in Switzerland.
When the Spanish Federation refused to suspend Mayo last winter, perhaps fearing legal action from the rider, the UCI appealed to CAS. Hearings were finally held in May and the CAS issued its sentence on August 12, confirming that Mayo is banned for two years from July 31 of 2007.
The Mayo sentence comes just days after Spain?s Maria Isabel Moreno was announced as positive for EPO at the Beijing Olympics.
She was the first positive anti-doping test of the Beijing Games and did not start the women?s road race on Sunday after leaving China claiming she was suffering with stress. She is also facing a two-year ban.