Rider handed four-year ban after 2012 sample tests positive for EPO

Slovenian rider Jure Kocjan is given four-year suspension by UCI after retroactive testing of his 2012 sample produces positive for EPO

A 2012 sample that was retroactively tested and returned a positive for banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO) has led to a four-year suspension for Slovenian rider Jure Kocjan.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) reported on Thursday that its Anti-Doping Tribunal had handed the 48-month suspension to the 32-year-old.

In addition to the EPO positive, the UCI says that Kocjan was found guilty of "tampering or attempted tampering during the results management process".

A sample taken from Kocjan in an out-of-competition test on March 8 2012 contained traces of EPO. The sample had been stored and retroactively tested, with the positive result originally announced by the UCI in February 2016.

>>> 14-year-old Italian rider fails drugs test after local race

Kocjan was racing for Team Type 1 Sanofi at the time of the test. In 2012, he won two stages of the Tour du Limousin and subsequently signed for the Euskaltel-Euskadi team in 2013, before moving to Team SmartStop in 2014.

Under World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and UCI rules, anti-doping samples can be stored for up to 10 years and re-tested at any point. Re-analysis of samples is beneficial in the fight against doping to detect substances for which there was no suitable anti-doping test at the time of the sample being taken.

Watch: Cycling Weekly Anti-doping debate highlights

Scientific advances mean that new tests are constantly being introduced or refined.

Several other riders have fallen foul of their samples being re-tested and found to contain performance-enhancing substances. Italian Katusha rider Giampaolo Caruso also failed a retro-active test for EPO on a sample taken from him in March 2012.

Thank you for reading 20 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1