UCI asks Belgian federation to open disciplinary procedure against Leif Hoste on passport irregularities
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

UCI asks Belgian federation to open disciplinary procedure against Leif Hoste on passport irregularities

by Ben Atkins at 10:14 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Steve Houanard suspended for two years after September EPO positive

leif hosteThe International Cycling Union (UCI) has requested that the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB/RLVB) open disciplinary procedures against Leif Hoste, due to irregularities in his biological passport data. The 35-year-old Belgian found himself forced to retire at the end of last season as his then Accent.jobs-Willems Verandas team failed to renew his contract and he was unable to secure a place with another team.

Hoste finished second in the Ronde van Vlaanderen three times - in 2004, 2006 and 2007 - but in recent years he has been unable to reproduce his best form, and has suffered from a number of serious injuries. In 2011, while riding for Katusha, he crashed badly in the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde and suffered a serious concussion that saw him suffer from headaches for months afterwards; his contract was not renewed by the Russian team and he had to take a step down to Professional Continental level in 2012. He had hoped to recapture his previous form, but further injury problems prevented him from doing so.

While he has officially been placed under a disciplinary procedure, the UCI stresses that “Mr Hoste shall be accorded the right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made.”

In addition to the Hoste investigations, the UCI has officially confirmed that Steve Houanard has been suspended for two years following his positive test for EPO last September. The 26-year-old Frenchman, who was an AG2R La Mondiale rider last year, returned the positive sample in an out-of-competition test on September 21st, and analysed by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) accredited lap in Barcelona, Spain.

Two years is the standard penalty handed down for a first offence, but it can be reduced by anti-doping authorities if the offender co-operates with investigators; since Houanard has not had his ban reduced, it would indicate that this was not the case this time.

The UCI confirmed that the Frenchman officially accepted his sanction on Friday, January 18th, although it does not officially state when the two-year period is to end.


The UCI statement in full:

Steve Houanard suspended two years

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announces that Steve Houanard (France), who had returned an adverse analytical finding (presence of EPO) in a urine sample collected during an out-of-competition test on 21 September 2012, is suspended for a period of two years.

Mr Houanard signed a document accepting the sanction on 18th January 2013.

Opening of disciplinary procedure on the basis of the biological passport

The UCI announces that it has asked the RLVB (Belgian National Cycling Federation) to instigate a disciplinary procedure against the Belgian rider Leif Hoste for an apparent violation of the anti-doping rules, on the basis of information provided by the blood profile in his biological passport.

Mr Hoste shall be accorded the right to the presumption of innocence until a final decision has been made on this matter. In accordance with the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.

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