Marlon Perez latest rider to test positive for GW501516
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Friday, May 03, 2013

Marlon Perez latest rider to test positive for GW501516

by Shane Stokes at 8:52 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Colombian rider provisionally suspended

dopingFormer Pan American Games road race champion and past Colombian TT champion Marlon Perez has become the latest rider to be linked to the banned substance GW501516. The 37 year old has been provisionally suspended after testing positive for the substance in the Vuelta a Costa Rica in December.

Perez won the stage three time trial on December 19th and also triumphed on stage nine on December 26th. He was tested on both occasions and the A sample from these have been red-flagged by the WADA accredited laboratories in Montreal and Köln respectively.

He has been handed a provisional suspension and will face a hearing panel convened by the Colombian Cycling Federation. It will seek to determine if he committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping rules.

GW501516 made the headlines in March when WADA issued a rare warning. “The side effect of this chemical compound is so serious that WADA is taking the rare step of warning “cheats” to ensure that there is complete awareness of the possible health risks to athletes who succumb to the temptation of using GW501516 for performance enhancement,” it stated then.

“GW501516 was a developmental drug that was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered in pre-clinical studies. Clinical approval has not, and will not be given for this substance.”

The drug regulates fat burning, shifts the body’s metabolism to use increasing amounts of fat for energy and increases muscle mass. When used with AICAR it is thought to have a synergistic effect, increasing endurance more than using either substance alone.

However trials were abandoned after animal studies showed that GW501516 caused multiple tumours.

The first rider confirmed as testing positive was the Rusvelo competitor Valery Kaykov, who was announced as being provisionally suspended on April 11th.

Three days later the Costa Rican federation FECOCI announced that four riders had returned positive tests at the Vuelta a Costa Rica. The following day the UCI confirmed to VeloNation that the substance in question was GW501516 and named the riders as Vargas Barrantes, Mudarra Segura, Morales Castillo and Villalobos Azofeifa.

At the time there were rumours that two unnamed Colombian riders had also tested positive. The UCI told VeloNation on April 15th that it had not opened any procedures in relation to that, but today’s news shows that Perez has indeed been implicated.

He had been riding for the Colombia Claro team in 2012, previously known as Colombia – Comcel.

His earlier teams include Colombia Selle Italia, Tenax and Caisse d’Epargne.

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