'It was a total surprise': Samuel Sanchez insists he has a 'clear conscience' after positive test

2008 Olympic champion tests positive for growth hormone GHRP-2

Samuel Sanchez tested positive for a growth hormone on August 9
(Image credit: Yuzuru Sunada)

Samuel Sanchez has expressed his "surprise" at being informed that he had failed a doping test in the build-up to the Vuelta a España.

The 2008 Olympic road race champion tested positive for growth hormone GHRP-2 in an out-of-competition test on August 9, and has now been provisionally suspended.

His A-sample having tested positive, Sanchez has requested the right to attend the testing of his B-sample, and expressed disbelief at the news of his positive test.

"The lawyers have told me not to make statements because we have to wait for the result of the analysis of the B-sample," Sanchez said.

"It is an adverse result, not a positive result, but in any case for me it has been a total surprise, I cannot believe it."

Three times a podium finisher in Grand Tours, including second place in the 2010 Tour de France following the disqualifications of Alberto Contador and Denis Menchov, the 39-year-old Sanchez was out of contract at BMC Racing and had been expected to retire after the Vuelta a España.

Instead, Sanchez will not ride his home Grand Tour, with BMC Racing immediately suspending him and bringing in Loïc Vliegen as a replacement for their Vuelta line-up.

AS reported that Sanchez, who had already travelled to the start of the race in Nîmes where he was told the news, said that he had a "clear conscience" in relation his test.

"I have heard the news in Nimes, and now I'm going home to wait for events [to unfold]," the Spaniard continued.

"I found out this morning, they told me by phone and email and I couldn’t believe it.

"I'm 39 years old, I'm 19 years a professional and I'm about to retire, why would I do this?"

Henry Robertshaw

Henry Robertshaw began his time at Cycling Weekly working with the tech team, writing reviews, buying guides and appearing in videos advising on how to dress for the seasons. He later moved over to the news team, where his work focused on the professional peloton as well as legislation and provision for cycling. He's since moved his career in a new direction, with a role at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.