WADA denies reports that it cleared Ezequiel Mosquera of doping
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Thursday, November 04, 2010

WADA denies reports that it cleared Ezequiel Mosquera of doping

by Shane Stokes at 1:32 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España, Doping
 
Spanish media had claimed Vuelta runner-up’s samples shows no signs of EPO use

Ezequiel MosqueraThe World Anti Doping Agency has contradicted reports which appeared yesterday in the Spanish media, appearing to suggest that it had cleared the Vuelta a España runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera of doping.

According to the usually-reliable Marca, it claimed that WADA indicated there was no positive test. It said that hydroxyethyl starch is not a doping substance, and therefore the rider would not serve a suspension if no banned product was found.

VeloNation contacted WADA today and received verification that the story was misleading. “WADA is not responsible for the management of doping control results. These reports are therefore inaccurate,” a WADA spokesman told VeloNation “As with any case under the World Anti-Doping Code, WADA will review the decision once issued.”

Mosquera confirmed this point on his Facebook account, saying that the stories were not correct. “I thank the media for giving this kind of news because they surely do so with the best intentions, but I have to say that I have had not had news for weeks, WADA hasn’t communicated and I wish that things were so easy.

“If there is no guarantee that there is EPO, masked or not, I can wait, I have time ... Thank you all,” he concluded, saying that he would be patient if it meant he would ultimately be cleared.

According to the WADA prohibited substances’ list, hydroxyethyl starch is judged to be part of the classification of diuretics and other masking agents. Under section S5, it clearly states that these are prohibited, further contradicting the Marca story.

In the rare case that a rider has a therapeutic use exemption (TUE) permitting the use of such substances, it says that this is ‘not valid if an Athlete’s urine contains such substance(s) in association with threshold or sub-threshold levels of an exogenous Prohibited Substance(s).’

There have been no indications that Mosquera had a TUE for hydroxyethyl starch.

He and team-mate David Garcia tested positive for the masking agent during this year’s Vuelta. It can be used in order to dilute blood levels, thus disguising the effects of EPO and related boosters. Garcia subsequently tested positive for EPO itself.

El Faro de Vigo stated yesterday that the WADA-accredited laboratory in Cologne had revealed no traces of EPO in his samples. Mosquera’s Facebook message appears to contradict that today but, even if EPO is confirmed as being absent, AS.com quotes a source within the Spanish Federation as confirming that hydroxyethyl starch use can be punished in the same way.

The 34 year old Mosquera won stage twenty in the Vuelta and finished second overall, 43 seconds behind Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas). It was his best career result and led to a contract with the Vacansoleil team.

Xacobeo Galicia team-mate Garciawas eleventh overall in the race, and took top ten placings on the stages to Peña Cabarga and Alto de Cotobello.

Depending on the final outcome, they each face suspensions of up to two years. However UCI President Pat McQuaid recently stated that he wanted the standard penalty for a serious doping offence to be doubled, theoretically sidelining any convicted riders for an even longer period of time.
 

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