Tom Zirbel's B-Sample result comes back positive for DHEA
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Zirbel's B-Sample comes back positive

by VeloNation Press at 9:21 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

American Tom Zirbel has reported on his blog that his B-sample analysis to verify a positive doping control for DHEA, an exogenous anabolic steroid, has come back positive. The controls were carried out after his second place finish at the US Time Trial Championships behind David Zabriskie on August 29, 2009.

"As expected (though hope plays funny games with your mind), the 'B' sample of my urine has come back confirming the presence of an exogenous anabolic in my system from the Aug. 29, 2009 test," he confirmed. "I expect USADA to come back with a 2 year sanction any day now but I'm tired of waiting for them so I decided to let everyone know what's going on."

Zirbel was set to take the leap into the big time and join the Garmin-Transitions team for 2010, but was left of the team's official roster announcement a week before his positive result was announced.

At the time he released a statement that said: "The US Pro TT was a major objective of mine this season, but I would never compromise my integrity for any bike race. At this point, I don’t know how this happened but regardless of the outcome of my 'B' sample I intend to find out with the help of a few accomplished scientists and doctors who have selflessly helped me since I first was notified of the 'A' findings. With that in mind, I refuse to speculate about how this happened until we have solid scientific evidence."

The American, who maintains ingestion of DHEA was not intentional, seems to be taking things in stride. "There will probably be a hearing in a few months whereas I will proclaim my innocence. We all know the drill! How many times have we been through this with this sport? I even secured one of those lawyer fellas to help me through this," he added.

"We are still attempting to figure out how this happened and I'm optimistic that we'll have an answer in time for the hearing."

The sport has been rocked by doping scandals, and Zirbel answered to that by saying: "I'm sorry that this is more negative press for the sport of cycling, but that is the least of my worries right now."

The 31-year-old rode for the Bissell Pro Cycling team in 2009 and, with his fourth place at the World Time Trial Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, Zirbel looked ready to make his mark on the ProTour. Now, unless there is some palatable explanation, it looks like his chance to shine in Europe is over.

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