France’s national anti-doping facility at Châtenay-Malabry has confirmed the doping result for Spanish rider Iban Mayo, who tested positive for blood-booster EPO during the 2007 Tour de France.
The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC), however, had cleared Mayo of any wrong-doing back in October, claiming the B sample had effectively been declared “unreadable” by a testing laboratory in Ghent.
"If the B sample is now declared positive by Châtenay-Malabry, then Mayo would not recognise that result and there is likely to be a legal conflict," warned Eugenio Bermudez, Secretary General of the RFEC.
Mayo has been suspended without pay since the Tour by his Saunier Duval Prodir team and, in line with their anti-doping policy, the B sample confirmation of his positive result means his contract will be torn up.
Meanwhile the RFEC have been given until December 31 to administer the mandatory sanctions against Mayo, revoking his licence for two years. If they do so, he is likely to challenge them in court based on their previous declaration of his innocence, but if they do not the UCI will simply ban Mayo themselves.
Either way, observers believe that the case is destined to be heard in to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne with the Spanish Federation defending their position against either Mayo or the UCI.
© Bikeradar & AFP 2007