Frei admits EPO use, fired by BMC Racing team
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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Frei admits EPO use, fired by BMC Racing team

by Conal Andrews at 9:31 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
 

Five days after it was revealed that Thomas Frei had returned a positive A sample for EPO, his BMC Racing team has announced that he has confessed to using the banned drug and been fired from the squad.

In a short statement released this afternoon, team president Jim Ochowicz disclosed the latest on the case.

“After Thomas Frei was officially informed by Antidoping Switzerland that he was tested A-positive regarding the use of EPO, Thomas Frei confessed his doping violation to the team management,” he wrote.

“Thomas Frei acted on his own and confirmed that his failure was without any relation to the BMC Racing Team. This complies with the team's own investigation on the case. Thomas Frei is regretting the negative publicity for the team due to his violation. Thomas Frei's violation is stated personally and separately by him to the public.”

Last week Frei placed ninth in the mountainous second stage of the Giro del Trentino in Italy, but was withdrawn from the race when the news of his positive A sample was released.

Ochowicz confirmed that the rider was now no longer part of the team. By confessing, the rider has waived his right to have his B sample analysed, and is likely to face a two year ban.

“The BMC Racing Team regrets this situation for Thomas Frei and his career, and also for the team,” he stated. “The BMC Racing Team is however grateful to Thomas Frei that he confessed and clarified the situation immediately. The BMC Racing Team will now separate from Thomas Frei but thanks Thomas Frei for his honesty to confess his failure. This brings transparency to the situation and is part of the anti-doping fight the BMC Racing Team is committed to be part of.”

The team recently suspended 2008 world road race champion Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio after the two Italians riders were involved in a doping investigation. It relates to their previous team, Lampre – Farnese Vini.

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