PARIS -- Cycling's governing body denied Tuesday that
Spanish rider Iban Mayo had been cleared of doping allegations
related to the 2007 Tour de France, and called for a new test of
his backup sample.
Anne Gripper, anti-doping chief for the International Cycling
Union, took issue with the Spanish cycling federation's
announcement Monday that Mayo's "B" sample had come back
"It wasn't a negative 'B' sample -- it was an inconclusive 'B'
sample," Gripper told The Associated Press at two-day Paris
conference on doping in cycling "The case for us is still very
open, we have not gotten a final resolution on the 'B' sample. It
needs to be analyzed in the Paris laboratory."
In July, the UCI said Mayo tested positive for the blood-booster
EPO during the Tour de France.
Gripper said the backup sample was transferred to a laboratory
in Ghent, Belgium, for testing after the Tour when the French lab
was closed for holiday.
"To ensure that the rider could have the 'B' done more quickly,
we transferred the sample, but the Ghent laboratory just couldn't
get the sample to confirm the Paris" result, Gripper said.
"Of course, they use a slightly different technique" than the
French lab, she said.
"We will ask the Spanish federation for the full documentation
about why they decided to close the case, and then we will make our
decision" about whether to instruct the French lab to open the
backup sample for testing, she said.
Mayo, who finished 16th in the Tour, was suspended without pay
while his Saunier-Duval team awaited the results on his "B"
In June, he was suspected of having failed a test for
testosterone during the Tour of Italy, but was later cleared of
wrongdoing by the UCI.
Mayo faces a minimum two-year suspension if found guilty of
doping, and said he was considering possible legal action against
"I'm still worked up about it all but it's a possibility,"
Mayo told reporters Monday. "I have to talk to my lawyer. It's
been shown that the whole process was a disaster. Someone will have
to pay for of this," he told El Correo newspaper.