Ubeto Aponte claims a Venezuelan medical clinic prescribed GW501516 drug to him
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Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Ubeto Aponte claims a Venezuelan medical clinic prescribed GW501516 drug to him

by Shane Stokes at 2:34 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 
Rider suggests he didn’t know product was banned, says Lampre Merida didn’t know of use

GW501516Commenting after the UCI announced earlier today that he had tested positive for the banned doping agent GW501516, the Venezuelan rider Miguel Armando Ubeto Aponte has claimed that he was prescribed the substance by a clinic in his home country after he fractured his arm earlier this year.

The 36 year old, who moved to the Lampre Merida squad prior to the start of this season, has said that the Italian team was unaware about his use of the product and he has apologised for the matter.

“In January 2013, I suffered from an injury (broken humerus) because of a crash in Vuelta al Tachira and I underwent surgery in Atias Clinic in Caracas,” he said.

“The clinic doctors suggested for me a therapy that called for consumption of medicines including the substance GW1516. The documents that certify these suggestions are in my possession.”

He said that when he read WADA’s strict warning about the substance in March, that he immediately stopped taking the prescribed therapy.

He was tested in an out of competition control on April 16th and his use of the black market substance – which has been linked to tumours and was never approved for human consumption – was discovered.

Facing a likely two year ban, Ubeto Aponte has said that he made a major error. “I understand now what a serious carelessness I made in not informing the team’s medical staff, with whose members I've been always in contact,” he said. “In good faith, I made a huge mistake for which I'm the only one responsible.”

He continued by stating that he believes that Lampre Merida is making big efforts to ‘take care of the image of cycling as a clean sport,’ and that he would cooperate with enquiries into the situation.

Notwithstanding his claims to have documentation showing that he was prescribed the medications in question, Ubeto Aponte looks set for a lengthy ban. WADA rules make the athlete responsible for whatever substances are in their body, and GW501516 – which is thought to promote weight loss and boost endurance – has been on WADA’s banned list since 2009.

Ubeto Aponte was the winner of the UCI Americas Tour in 2011, of the 2011 and 2012 national road race championships plus last year’s Vuelta a Venezuela.

Lampre Merida has also commented on the matter, saying that he was tested one day after arriving from Venezuela. It also stated that at that period in time, he had not yet made his debut for the team due to his injury.

Ubeto Aponte is the seventh rider to test positive for GW501516 in just over a month.

His full statement is as follows:

I, Miguel Armando Ubeto Aponte, by the means of this letter, would like to explain the situation linked to the adverse analytical finding for substance GW1516 that was detected during an out competition control, taking on all the culpability for what happened and apologizing to Team LAMPRE-MERIDA.

In January 2013, I suffered from an injury (broken humerus) because of a crash in Vuelta al Tachira and I underwent surgery in Atias Clinic in Caracas.

The clinic doctors suggested for me a therapy that called for consumption of medicines including the substance GW1516. The documents that certify these suggestions are in my possession.

On March 2013, reading a note by WADA about the aforementioned substance, I immediately stopped the therapy.

I understand now what a serious carelessness I made in not informing the team’s medical staff, with whose members I've been always in contact.

In good faith, I made a huge mistake for which I'm the only one responsible.

That's why I want to apologize to Team LAMPRE-MERIDA, its medical staff and its sponsors: I can appreciate how big the efforts are that the team is performing in taking care of the image of cycling as a clean sport, so my sadness is even higher about the carelessness I made.

Fully aware of my responsibilities, I'm at the disposal of the competent bodies to clarify the whole situation.

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