GW501516 positives confirmed, three of four riders are from same BCR Pizza Hut team
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Monday, April 15, 2013

GW501516 positives confirmed, three of four riders are from same BCR Pizza Hut team

by Shane Stokes at 3:10 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
UCI confirms Vargas Barrantes, Mudarra Segura, Morales Castillo and Villalobos Azofeifa provisionally suspended

dopingFollowing yesterday’s news that four Costa Rican riders have tested positive, the UCI has confirmed to VeloNation that the substance in question was indeed the banned substance GW501516, and has named the riders concerned.

“The UCI advised four Costa Rican riders in the first week of April 2013, Vargas Barrantes, Mudarra Segura, Morales Castillo and Villalobos Azofeifa that they were provisionally suspended,” UCI Communications manager Devra Pitt Gétaz said today, responding to questions on the matter.

“The decision to provisionally suspend the riders was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of metabolite GW1516 sulfone – Metabolic Modulator in a urine sample collected from them in an in-competition test in December at the Vuelta Internacional a Costa Rica 2012.”

Three of the riders are from the BCR Pizza Hut team. Paulo Vargas Barrantes took stages two and eleven in the Vuelta a Costa Rica, and also finished ninth overall. The 33 year old is a former Vuelta a Guatemala and national road race championship winner.

Allan Jose Morales Castillo is 24 and finished fourth overall in the 2012 race, the highest of the four riders. He also nabbed three top five stage finishes. In 2010 he was runner-up in the national road race championships.

Pablo Mudarra Segura took the national road race title last year and had six top ten stage placings in the Vuelta a Costa Rica, as well as taking eighth overall. He is the youngest of the quartet at just 21 years of age.

Steven Villalobos Azofeifa is from the Coronado squad. He previously tested positive for Clomifen in the 2009 Vuelta a Costa Rica, incurring a two year suspension. That ended on March 24 last year, and after finishing back in sixteenth place in the national championships, he improved his level for the Vuelta a Costa Rica, where he won stage twelve, picked up third on stage six and finished sixth overall. Now 26 years of age, he’s facing a potential lifetime ban for a second offence.

Like the other three riders, he presumably must await the results of the B sample analysis.

Asked about rumours that two unnamed Colombian riders had also returned positive A samples for GW501516, Devra Pitt Gétaz clarified that the UCI ‘has not opened any procedure against any Columbian riders for this substance.’

Potentially lethal health risks:

Usage of the substance GW501516 appears akin to Russian Roulette, with WADA issuing a rare warning about its use three weeks ago. It was originally developed by GlaxoSmithKline but after it was linked to the development of multiple tumours in laboratory animals, was abandoned in 2006.

The company determined that in all doses, the drug quickly caused tumours in test animals in a number of organs, including the liver, bladder, stomach, skin, thyroid, tongue, testes, ovaries and womb.

It has never been approved for human usage, but the substance subsequently emerged on the black market. It has been banned by WADA since 2009.

On Thursday the UCI stated that the Rusvelo rider Valery Kaykov was provisional suspended in relation to the black market substance, making his the first-ever case in cycling. It said that he had tested positive after an out of competition test was taken on March 17th.

GW501516 regulates fat burning, shifting the body’s metabolism to use increasing amounts of fat for energy and increases muscle mass. It is believed used by some in combination with another banned substance AICAR.

Aside from the clear health risks it is easily detectable, as the five confirmed cases thus far show.


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