Andre Cardoso tests positive for EPO; misses Tour de France - Road Cycling UK

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Andre Cardoso tests positive for EPO; misses Tour de France

Key domestique to Alberto Contador provisionally suspended but vehemently denies doping

Andre Cardoso (Trek-Segafredo) will miss the Tour de France after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition doping test.

The Portuguese rider, a top-20 finisher at both the Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana, was due to ride his first ever Tour de France as part of a strong back-up unit for Alberto Contador.

But Cardoso failed the doping test on June 18, just a week after finishing 19th at the Criterium du Dauphine, and the 32-year-old has now been provisionally suspended by the UCI.

In a short statement, cycling’s governing body wrote: “The UCI announces that Portuguese rider André Cardoso was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) of Erythropoietin in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 18 June 2017.

“The control was planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, in charge of defining and implementing the anti-doping strategy in cycling.

Andre Cardoso will miss the Tour de France after testing positive for EPO (pic – Sirotti)

“The rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. In accordance with UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

“At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further on any of these matters.”

Cardoso, however, has denied the allegations, writing on his Facebook page that he had requested his B sample be tested as soon as possible.

“I believe in clean sport and have always conducted myself as a clean athlete, but I realise that this news puts a dark cloud on not just myself but also on our sport and my team, teammates and staff,” he wrote in English.

“I am fully aware that I will be presumed to be guilty, but it’s important to me to say that I am devastated by this news and I wanted to state that I have never taken any illegal substances.

“I’ve seen first-hand through my career the awful effects that performance enhancing drugs have had on our sport, and I would never want to be a part of that. I’ve always tried to be a constructive influence in the peloton and on young, aspiring cyclists.

“It is my great hope that the B sample will come back as negative and clear me of any wrongdoing.

“Until then, I hope that those who know me, trust me when I say that I’m innocent, and that my colleagues and cycling fans everywhere don’t judge me too quickly during this difficult time.”

Cardoso was set to be a key domestique for Alberto Contador (pic – Sirotti)

Cardoso has been replaced in Trek-Segafredo’s Tour de France line-up by veteran Spaniard Haimar Zubeldia who, at 40, will be the oldest rider in this year’s race.

The Spaniard will be racing at the Tour for the 16th time, having finished in the top ten overall on five previous occasions.


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