BMC Racing's Thomas Frei tests postive for EPO
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

BMC Racing's Thomas Frei tests postive for EPO

by VeloNation Press at 10:31 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Thomas FreiBMC Racing has announced that Thomas Frei has tested positive for EPO. The team said that they are pulling him from competition immediately, so he won't be on the start line for tomorrow's stage of the Giro del Trentino in Italy.  The Swiss rider came in ninth place on today's mountainous second stage, 11 seconds behind winner Riccardo Riccó (Ceramica Flaminia).
 
"It has come to our attention that Thomas Frei has been informed that he was tested A-positive regarding the use of EPO," explained BMC Racing's President Jim Ochowicz in a statement released by the team.  "As a consequence, the BMC Racing Team and its members have made the decision to withhold Thomas Frei from competition, in accordance with the BMC Racing Team's own policy. This should not be seen as pre-determination of guilt. The rider will now have to personally address the accusation."

The news comes just weeks after the team sidelined Italians Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio in the wake of the "via col doping" investigation, although in their case no evidence of doping had been presented.

“It has come to our attention that two of our riders, Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio, are the subject of an investigation by Italian authorities stemming from incidents that took place more than two years ago - when they were members of the Lampre team and not affiliated with the BMC Racing Team," Ochowicz said at the time.

Today marked the biggest win for the American team, with World Champion Cadel Evans' taking victory in the Flèche Wallone.  The Australian has been outspoken in the fight against doping, and this development will certainly put a damper on his  victory celebration.

This is Frei's second year with the BMC Racing team, having ridden for Astana in 2007 and 2008.  There was no information given on whether Frei will request to have his B Sample analyzed.

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