Ubeto Aponte latest to test positive for GW501516, provisionally suspended
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ubeto Aponte latest to test positive for GW501516, provisionally suspended

by Shane Stokes at 10:19 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Venezuelan rider sidelined after traces of highly dangerous substance detected

dopingTwelve days after the Colombian Marlon Perez became the sixth rider to test positive for the substance GW501516, the Venezuelan rider Miguel Ubeto Aponte has the dubious distinction of joining that list.

The Lampre Merida competitior has been confirmed today by the UCI as returning a positive A sample for the substance, which was never approved for human use and is regarded as highly dangerous by WADA, researchers and others.

Today’s announcement states that Ubeto Aponte tested positive in an out of competition test carried out on him on April 16th of this year, and analysed at the WADA laborator in Koln. He has been provisionally suspended until the Venezuelan cycling federation hears his case and determines if he committed an anti-doping violation.

Ubeto Aponte has the right to request and attend a B sample analysis.

The 36 year old rider competed for small teams for the majority of his career, but was signed by the Lampre Merida team prior to the current season due to the points he had amassed.

He was the Venezuelan national road race champion in 2011 and also won the UCI America Tour. Last season he repeated his national championship triumph and also won a stage in the Vuelta al Táchira plus the overall classification in the Vuelta a Venezuela.

His best result this year came on stage seven of the Presidential Tour of Turkey when he was twentieth. He was also 29th in the Tour de Picardie three days ago.

Background to the positive:

GW501516 made the headlines in March when WADA made an unusual announcement. “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“GW501516 was a developmental drug that was withdrawn from research by the pharmaceutical company and terminated when serious toxicities were discovered in pre-clinical studies.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.”

Trials were abandoned after animal studies illustrated a link between GW501516 use and the development of multiple tumours.

While its use appears to be akin to playing Russian Roulette, some sportspeople have been drawn to the substance as it is believed to regulate fat burning, to shift the body’s metabolism to use increasing amounts of fat for energy and to increase muscle mass.

When used in combination with AICAR, it is thought to have a synergistic effect, increasing endurance more than using either substance alone.

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. A rider from that country, Marlon Perez, was confirmed as positive on May 3rd. Ubeto Aponte now becomes the seventh rider on the list of those positive for GW501516.

Today’s news is the second announcement of a positive test, with the Frenchman Sylvain Georges leaving the Giro d’Italia after traces of the specified substance Heptaminol was detected in a sample taken on the seventh stage of the race.


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