George confesses to EPO use, faces lengthy ban from cycling
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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

George confesses to EPO use, faces lengthy ban from cycling

by Shane Stokes at 12:35 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
South African had been given ‘health suspension’ in 2004

David GeorgeHours after it was revealed that he had tested positive for EPO, the South African rider David George has admitted used the banned substance and waived the right to the analysis of his second sample.

“I will not be asking for a B sample to be tested as I know the result will ultimately be the same,” George said in a statement released today. “I fully understand the consequences of my admission and will bear the results of this.”

South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport CEO Khalid Galant revealed today that longitudinal monitoring of George had thrown up suspicious blood values. He was asked to provide both blood and urine samples and the latter showed traces of EPO.

He has been racing in pro cycling for a long time, initially having turned pro with the US Postal Service team back in 1999, and also having raced with Tacconi Sport Vini Caldirola, CCC Polsat, Barloworld and Relax Gam before turning to MTB racing.

In 2004 the-then Barloworld rider was prevented from starting the Tre Valli Varesine race due to a high haematocrit, and was suspended for two weeks.

Now 36 years of age, he is facing a lengthy ban from the sport and knows his career could be over. “Cycling, as you know, has been a confusing space and although it has given me incredible moments it has also given me experiences that no person or young athlete should have to go through,” he said, without clarifying what those were.

“I would like to apologise to my sponsors, who have given me every opportunity to chase a dream, and team-mates, for whom I have the utmost respect. I will endeavour to make right where humanly possible.”

His Nedbank 360 Life cycling team has been suspended by the sponsors, and faces a very uncertain future. His former team-mates will hope that George’s actions don’t lead to the squad stopping permanently.

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