Paralympic Games cycling champion fails test for EPO

Scottish-born Australian Michael Gallagher failed an out-of-competition test for EPO in July and will not ride in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games

Australian Paralympic Games individual pursuit champion Michael Gallagher has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for EPO.

The 37-year-old Scottish-born rider returned a positive result for the banned blood booster after an out-of-competition test at a training camp in Italy in July.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) confirmed that the reigning individual pursuit C5 champion had tested positive, and would not be travelling to Rio.

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"Mr Gallagher was tested out-of-competition at a training camp held in Italy in July. His ‘A’ sample tested positive for erythropoietin (EPO)," said a statement from ASADA issued on Friday.

"The test was coordinated by ASADA as part of a comprehensive pre-Rio anti-doping program to ensure the integrity of the Australian Paralympic team.

"The provisional suspension is effective immediately and means Mr Gallagher will not compete at the Paralympics in Rio."

In addition to Gallagher's London gold for the C5 individual pursuit, he won the LC1 individual pursuit in Beijing 2008 and a bronze in the 2008 road race and bronze in 2012 time trial.

Gallagher moved to Australia from Scotland when he was five years old.

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