UCI launches biological passport proceedings against Carlos Barredo
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

UCI launches biological passport proceedings against Carlos Barredo

by Shane Stokes at 7:50 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Spaniard under investigation for suspected blood doping

Carlos BarredoSidelined since June because of doubts about his biological passport, Carlos Barredo has been informed by the UCI that a disciplinary procedure has been opened against him on the grounds of suspected blood doping.

The UCI has contacted the rider, the Spanish Consejo Superior de Deportes, his Rabobank Cycling Team and the World Anti-Doping Agency on the subject, formalising the next stage of a process which started months ago.

It states that it is investigating him for ‘apparent violation of the Anti-Doping Rules on the basis of the information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport.’

The UCI states that he is presumed innocent until a final decision, but today’s development shows that the case is a serious one and the rider’s future in the sport is now under question.

The case came to light on August 22nd when his Rabobank team issued a statement saying that he had faced questions in relation to his biological passport profile for the years between 2007 and 2011. The rider worked with the team to formulate answers and replied to the UCI prior to the initial deadline of July 24th.

At the time the team said that he had denied being involved ‘in any doping-related cases or the use of banned substances,’ and emphasised that no case had been opened. That was misleading, though, as the opening of a disciplinary process only occurs after a rider has had the chance to explain himself and the biological passport expert panel has weighed up the credibility of those answers.

More recently, the team told VeloNation that the rider had been requested to provide more information. “It was all by letter. The questions came in by letter, and Carlos just answered again,” Rabobank spokesman Richard Plugge told VeloNation nearly two weeks ago.

“It's a matter between the UCI and Barredo. But he consulted Rabobank and we helped him with his answers.”

The enquiry likely relates to his time prior to joining the Rabobank team. He signed for the Dutch squad in 2011, having competed with Liberty Seguros between 2004 and 2006, and Quick Step Innergetic from 2007 to 2010. His top career result thus far is a stage win in the 2010 Vuelta a España.

Barredo came under the media spotlight in May 2011 when l’Equipe published what it said was the UCI’s ‘Index of Suspicion’ in relation to the perceived doping risk of riders participating in the 2010 Tour de France.

He and Yaroslav Popovych were ranked highest in that list, being listed as ten out of ten. The UCI criticised the publication of the list at the time and played down its significance. Barredo later pointed out that the UCI had not tested him for many months, something he said was at odds with any suggestion that he was a rider of concern.

The rider’s two-year contract is due to end this season. Today’s news will complicate his search for a slot for 2013 although if he is ultimately deemed at fault, he is likely to be sidelined for at least two years.

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