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.
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.
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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.