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The Gerolsteiner team have sacked sprinter Danilo Hondo after it was revealed that the B sample delivered by the rider during a doping control at last month's Tour of Murcia indicated use of the stimulant Carphedon. Hondo, who won two stages including the time trial in Murcia, also faces the suspension of his racing licence for two years after the doping offence was confirmed.
The 31-year-old sprinter attended the opening of his counter-analysis sample in Madrid on Tuesday in the company of a Swiss lawyer. It is not yet known whether the former German champion will challenge the verdict.
According to the Spanish Todociclismo website, Carphedon is a stimulant that is used to combat both physical and mental fatigue, and was used widely in the former Eastern Bloc. Gerolsteiner team doctor Ernst Jakob has said that the product can be bought over the internet, and that checks on all products used by the German team have shown that none contain Carphedon.
According to the ProTour's ethical code, Hondo will not be able to sign for one of the sport's top 20 teams for the next four years, which could effectively end his career at the highest level.