Tour of Turkey winner Gabrovski suspended for A-sample EPO positive doping test
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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Tour of Turkey winner Gabrovski suspended for A-sample EPO positive doping test

by Shane Stokes at 10:40 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Presidential Tour of Turkey
Former European champion Rasa Leleivyte also positive for same substance

Ivailo GabrovskiBulgarian rider Ivailo Gabrovski is facing a possible lengthy ban plus the loss of his Tour of Turkey title after a urine sample given during the race has shown traces of EPO.

The 34 year old was riding the race with the small Konya Torku Seker Spor and dominated it, beating several WorldTour teams and riders in doing so. He finished well over a minute clear of the next rider on the race’s sole summit finish of Elmali, then successfully fended off all attacks over the five remaining days.

At the time, there was a general scepticism amongst some teams at the race. One team manager told VeloNation that he couldn’t accept the result, referring to both Gabrovski’s strength and also the fact that he was temporarily blocked from racing in 2003 and 2005 as a result of a too-high hematocrit.

Gabrovski denied all such suggestions, though, insisting that he was racing clean in a press conference after the race.

“This is not a surprise. This is a lot of work…not only this year or last year. I’ve been for more than 15 years a professional rider,” the 34 year old insisted in a video interview, which can be seen here.

“I started with the road bicycle at eight years of age and all my life, I do the same thing. I ride my bike. I have no life like other guys and girls, I only have the bike. This is all I have.

“So cycling is my life. What happens here now is a lot of work and a lot of mind that I put in this race. Also, lots of wish, lots of courage to win the race. Luck too. You always need luck.”

It appears his luck has run out, though, with the UCI issuing a press release today laying out the situation he now finds himself in. “The UCI advised Bulgarian rider Ivailo Gabrovski that he is provisionally suspended. The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Athens indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him in a test during the Tour of Turkey on 24th April 2012,” it stated.

The governing body added that he would remain suspended until the Bulgarian Cycling Federation determined if he had committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. He can request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

Gabrovski beat Astana’s Alexandr Dyachenko by one minute 33 seconds, with Danail Andonov Petrov (Caja Rural) a further five seconds back in third.

Both will advance a place if he is ultimately proven guilty of EPO use.

Meanwhile Lituanian rider Rasa Leleivyte also found herself in the same position after a positive A sample for EPO taken in an out-of-competition control on 12 June 2012. She took must decide if she will accept the result or opt for a B sample analysis. Like Gabrovski, she is provisionally suspended.

The 23 year old was European espoir champion in 2008 and is a multiple national champion. She took a stage win plus third in the Tour of Qatar in 2010. She is racing with the Vaiano Tepso team this year and took sixteenth overall in the Giro del Trentino plus thirteenth overall in the Giro Donne.


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