Posted Thursday 26th July 2012 –
It seems doping and pro cycling have always had unfortunately close links but it now seems we’re even getting doping in the amateur ranks with two cyclsist being tested positive for EPO at this years Gran Fondo New York. David Anthony of New York City has admitted to having used the drug to enhance his performance at bike races and Gabriele Guarini from Prato, Italy accepted the results of his A sample which also showed positive for EPO.
“Of course we were shocked to hear the news on the positive tests, in particular given the use of EPO. EPO is a blood boosting drug that has to be injected and is not a simple over the counter product,” says Gran Fondo New York CEO Ulrich Fluhme. “Doping control helps clean riders have fair competition. We believe that we came closer to achieving that by introducing out-of-competition (OOC) and in-competiton (IC) testing. All our OOC tests came back negative as did the vast majority of IC tests. Plus, the announcement of testing before the event kept away notorious cheaters.”
The US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was onsite in Weehawken, NJ, the finish site of Gran Fondo New York, on May 20, 2012 and conducted the testing. Gran Fondo New York appointed USADA to perform urine testing for both OOC and IC testing on its behalf. All doping control tests were conducted in accordance with the USA Anti-Doping Rules, which are in accord with World Anti-Doping Code and the International Standard for Testing.
In his statement issued on NYVelocity.com Anthony says: “I was using ways to improve my performance that were cheating. This was something that I alone did, and I take responsibility for it. My team, coaches and friends had absolutely no knowledge or participation in this.”
“I hope he takes the chance to help fight doping,” adds Gran Fondo New York President Lidia Fluhme. “He’s done the first step: not fighting the test result. Now he has the opportunity to apologize to his rivals as well as reveal his suppliers and anyone else involved. While we will never again allow him to participate in Gran Fondo New York, we’re inviting him for a Q&A with other athletes provided he does all of the above. Instead of just admitting it and going away from cycling, we hope he can become an outspoken advocate against doping, help cyclists who are doping to stop doping, and raise money for doping control programs at local races.”