Former Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez fails doping test

BMC Racing man out of Vuelta a Espana after testing positive for GHRP-2 growth hormone

Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing), the 2008 Olympic road race champion, has been provisionally suspended after failing an out-of-competition doping test.

Veteran Spaniard Sanchez, 39, was due to ride at the Vuelta a Espana, which starts in Nimes on Saturday (August 19), but his career now looks to be over instead after testing positive for the banned growth hormone GHRP-2.

He is the third rider to be chucked out of a Grand Tour on the eve of the race after failing a test for GHRP-2, after Bardiani-CSF duo Stefano Pirazzi and Nicola Ruffoni ahead of the Giro d’Italia.

Samuel Sanchez has tested positive for a banned growth hormone and will therefore miss the 2017 Vuelta a Espana (pic – Sirotti)

In a short statement on their team website, BMC Racing confirmed Sanchez’s provisional suspension, and are now awaiting the B sample results before deciding on further action.

“All riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing Team is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a Espana,” the statement continued.

Sanchez will now be replaced in the BMC Racing squad by Loic Vliegen, with the 23-year-old set for his Grand Tour debut as a result.

Sanchez won five stages at the Vuelta between 2005 and 2007 and is also a former stage winner and King of the Mountains at the Tour de France, alongside multiple top-ten finishes in each race.

His biggest triumph came in 2008, however, when he won the Olympic road race in Beijing, ahead of Davide Rebellin, who was later disqualified for failing a doping test, and Fabian Cancellara.

The Oviedo-born rider spent the bulk of his career, from 2000 to 2013, with Euskaltel-Euskadi before signing for BMC Racing upon the Basque team’s demise.

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