Testosterone question over Landaluze

Euskaltel rider I¤igo Landaluze is claiming that high levels of testosterone that were reportedly de

Euskaltel rider I¤igo Landaluze is claiming that high levels of testosterone that were reportedly de

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Euskaltel rider I¤igo Landaluze is reported to be under investigation by the International Cycling Union after dope controls he underwent on his way to victory at the Dauphin Libr in June showed high levels of testosterone. However, the 27-year-old Basque rider has said he is sure that he will be cleared of any wrongdoing "because this abnormality occurs naturally in my body".

The story has been broken by the Colombian paper El Diario, which has scented the possibility of Landaluze being stripped of that Dauphin victory and it being handed to Colombian runner-up Santiago Botero. Contacted by El Tiempo, Landaluze explained: "This is a problem that I have had since I was 16. I have a level of eight nanograms, but this is normal [for me], and we have already made this clear."

Landaluze denied taking any doping product, and stated that there is nothing he can do to lower his high level of testosterone. "The Spanish cycling federation know all abou it, and the organisation is helping me to resolve the issue," Landaluze said. "What we would like is for the UCI, based on the evidence we have presented, to give me special dispensation to ride with a high level of testosterone so that I don't have any problems in the future."

Bizarrely, Botero received a six-month when he recorded a testosterone level of eight nanograms before the start of the 1999 Vuelta a Espa¤a. The Colombian said at the time and has maintained that the excess was produced naturally in his body. Botero has refused to make any comment on Landaluze's case.

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