UCI pushes for four year suspension for Arriagada
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Friday, June 3, 2011

UCI pushes for four year suspension for Arriagada

by Shane Stokes at 9:53 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Doping
Governing body wants to make longer bans standard practice

UCI president Pat McQuaid has said on several occasions in the past two years that he wants to see a four year ban become standard for serious doping issues. The UCI has now recommended a suspension of that duration for the Chilean rider Marco Arriagada.

The 35 year old has reportedly tested positive five times since the start of the year. Although he’s been successful in the past, he’s been performing at a higher standard this season, winning both the Tour de San Luis and Vuelta a Chile.

The Tour de San Luis result came about when he beat riders such as Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli) and the late Xavier Tondo (Movistar), both of whom have been riding at a higher level than him in recent years. He then went on to take three stages plus the overall in the Vuelta a Chile, beating closest rival Gonzalo Andres Garrido Zenteno by almost three minutes.

The T-Banc Skechers rider was tested en route to what was his third overall victory in the event and the results confirmed that he had taken an anabolic substance. Predictably, he has denied doing so.

Arriagada is a triple Olympian, having participated in the Games in 1996, 2004 and 2008, and has competed on road and track. He has Panamerican Games and world championship medals to his credit.

The UCI’s request has been passed on to the Chilean federation, which is the body which must impose a sanction. Should it refuse to impose the four year ban required, the UCI has the right to bring the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Given Arriagada’s age, a ban of four years would almost certainly end his career. Providing the request is followed by sanctions of similar durations for other future cases – particularly involving bigger, more successful riders - it would send out an important signal.


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