August 12, 2008 / 11:58 AM / 10 years ago

Sports court bans Spaniard Mayo for two years

BERNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Spaniard Iban Mayo was handed a two-year doping ban on Tuesday after the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld an appeal by the International Cycling Union (UCI).

The UCI took its appeal to CAS after the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) refused to punish the rider over what it called the “inconclusive” nature of a B sample.

Mayo tested positive for the banned blood-booster EPO in an A test conducted during last year’s Tour de France but challenged its legitimacy after an initially inconclusive B sample was returned by a laboratory other than the one which carried out the initial test.

The UCI then instructed the original laboratory to do its own B test and called for the rider to be banned after that came back positive.

“The CAS panel was of the opinion the decision of the UCI to proceed to a new analysis of the B sample was in accordance with the letter and spirit of the UCI anti-doping regulations,” the court said in a statement.

The 30-year-old would be suspended from the sport for two years from July 31, 2007, the day he was sacked by his then team Saunier Duval, CAS added.

Mayo finished sixth in the 2003 Tour de France, winning the famous climb to Alpe D’Huez stage, and won the Dauphine Libere race in 2004. He also won a stage of the Giro d’Italia in 2007.

He joined Saunier Duval from Euskaltel Euskadi at the end of 2006 after seven seasons with the Basque team.

(additional reporting by Mark Elkington in Madrid)

Editing by N.Ananthanarayanan

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