AG2R La Mondiale to sit out Dauphiné if Sylvain Georges’ B-sample is positive
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Thursday, May 16, 2013

AG2R La Mondiale to sit out Dauphiné if Sylvain Georges’ B-sample is positive

by Ben Atkins at 2:17 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping, Critérium du Dauphiné
 
Vincent Lavenu to impose one week ban on his own team according to MPCC rules

vincent lavenuVincent Lavenu, the general manager of AG2R La Mondiale, has confirmed that the team will undergo a self-imposed one week ban from competition if the Sylvain Georges’ B-sample also comes out positive for Heptaminol, which means that the French Pro Team will miss the Critérium du Dauphiné. According to the rules of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), of which AG2R La Mondiale is a founder member, this penalty must be taken by any team which has two riders test positive within a year of one another.

Since Steve Houanard tested positive for EPO in October last year, Georges would be the team’s second case. In an open letter to the press the rider blamed his control on an over the counter product, which he took without thinking, since it is a specified substance and suspension may be lighter than for other products, but this makes no difference to the team’s MPCC-imposed ban.

“If the new analysis comes up positive then, in accordance with our commitments, we will not participate in the Critérium,” Lavenu confirmed to TV Channel France 3’s Alpes region. “Two positive controls inside a period of twelve months means that the team will be banned from racing for a week.

MPCC rules state that the team suspension must start on the first day of the next race on the WorldTour calendar. This means that the team may finish the Giro d’Italia, where its Italian climber Domenico Pozzovivo sits ninth overall, while Colombian climber Carlos Betancur has finished second in two of the toughest stages so far.

Missing the Dauphiné will be a blow to AG2R La Mondiale, which has its headquarters in the Chambéry area of the Rhône-Alpes region where the race is staged. Commitment to the rules, however, means that this is a bitter pill that the team will be required to swallow.

"The team made a commitment to the MPCC to comply with its rules," Lavenu said. "This may serve as an electric shock for everybody, to fully understand what the stakes are."

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has yet to comment on the situation which - if AG2R La Mondiale does not start the Critérium du Dauphiné - would be a direct breech of the WorldTour rule that requires all ProTeams to ride all events.

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