Dutch Silence-Lotto rider Thomas Dekker has failed a retroactive test for EPO carried out on a urine sample taken in December 2007.
Dekker was singled out as a result of the Union Cycliste Internationale’s biological passport programme, which showed suspect blood values. The UCI has subsequently opened a disciplinary proceeding against Dekker for a potential violation.
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According to a statement issued on Wednesday by the UCI, Dekker’s haematological (blood cell) profile in 2008 and 2009 showed “convincing evidence of the use of the prohibited method of enhancement of oxygen transfer”.
The statement continued: “The nature of Mr Dekker’s haematological profile prompted the UCI to conduct a detailed review of the results of EPO analyses conducted on urine samples taken from him since the commencement of the biological passport programme.
“As part of this review, the UCI requested the WADA accredited laboratory in Cologne to re-examine the results of a urine sample collected from Mr Dekker in December 2007. On 30 June 2009, the Cologne laboratory reported a finding of recombinant EPO (Dynepo) in this sample.
“This result was reported in accordance with new EPO detection and reporting rules approved by the World Anti-Doping Agency in May 2009.”
Silence-Lotto team manager Marc Sergeant said he was ‘very disillusioned’ after hearing the news.
Dekker had been selected for Silence-Lotto’s Tour team, but has now been suspended by the squad pending further investigation. Britain’s Charly Wegelius takes his place on the Tour team.