Australian cyclist Mark Roland has been suspended for two years for using human growth hormone, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) said today.
The authority found that Roland used hGH on August 27 and December 5 2003. He was also found to have used the anabolic steroid dehydroepiandrosterone on the same dates and on November 16 2004.
The ASADA said the sanction was significant because it relied on evidence obtained by its investigators rather than a positive test. The offences were committed during the eight-year statute of limitations period mandated in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.
"This sanction clearly illustrates that athletes do not need to return a positive test to be found to have violated anti-doping rules," ASADA Chairman Richard Ings said in a statement.
"In this case, ASADA investigators, working in partnership with other government agencies, identified and prosecuted a serious doping violation that could not have been detected through normal testing procedures."
Roland competed professionally with the 2003 Giant Asia Racing Team and won a criterium of the 2003 Southbank Grand Prix Cycling Classic on December 7 2003.
As a result of the ban, Roland will forfeit all competition results from his first use of hGH on August 27 2003 until he last competed on April 25 2008. He will be eligible to return to sporting competition at midnight on April 24 2010, ASADA said.
© AFP 2008