USADA states Horner does not have a missed control, but denies testing agencies leaked information to media
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Monday, September 16, 2013

USADA states Horner does not have a missed control, but denies testing agencies leaked information to media

by Shane Stokes at 2:27 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Doping
 
“Mr. Horner properly updated his whereabouts information in advance of the test attempt”

USADAThe US Anti Doping Agency USADA has confirmed that the issue reported earlier with testers being unable to perform an out of competition control on Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner was not due to any error on the rider’s part, and will consequently not count as a missed test.

Commenting on the issue in a statement, USADA denied that either it or the Spanish anti doping agency AEA which carried out the test had leaked information to the media, as Horner’s RadioShack Leopard had claimed earlier today.

“In response to public statements from Team RadioShack today concerning Chris Horner, USADA can confirm that we were coordinating an out-of-competition test with the Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte (AEA) while Mr. Horner was in Spain,” USADA said in a statement sent to VeloNation in response to enquiries about the matter.

“Mr. Horner properly updated his whereabouts information in advance of the test attempt, but given that the information was received in the U.S., the AEA doping control officer on the ground in Spain did not receive the updated information prior to arriving at the hotel.”

“This is not considered a missed test and neither anti-doping organization provided information to the media regarding this situation.”

It said that it had a “strong collaborative relationship with AEA” and thanked that agency for its partnership in helping to protect the integrity of sport plus the rights of athletes who compete clean.

This morning Spanish newspaper AS reported that testers from AEA went to the RadioShack Leopard team hotel, looking to test Horner. It said that when it went to the room it expected him to be in, another rider of the team was sleeping there.

It also stated that the testers went to an unnamed second hotel and he was not there either.

However his team insisted that he had done nothing wrong, and that the blame was on the part of the testers. “He didn’t miss a test,” team spokesman Philippe Maertens told VeloNation. “The guys from USADA were in the wrong hotel. Chris changed his hotel yesterday as he wanted to stay in the hotel of his wife prior to flying back to the US today. He filled in the Adams system.”

Soon afterwards, the team released a screen shot of an email sent yesterday morning by Horner to USADA, plus an automatic confirmation note that it had been received.

It laid the blame for the leaked story at the door of the AEA. “The team believes the communication between the Spanish Anti-doping Agency and the media is a violation of the privacy of Chris Horner, especially since it comes down to a clear mistake by the tester,” it said in a statement, adding that it would seek compensation from ‘the responsible anti-doping agencies’ as a result.

Horner became the first American Vuelta winner yesterday, and also the oldest ever winner of a Grand Tour. He’ll be 42 in October; and his result eclipsed the 1922 Tour de France victory achieved by Firmin Lambot at 36 years of age.

He returned to the US today and will remain there during his build-up to the world road race championships on September 29th.
 

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