Dan Staite, a British cyclist, formerly of the Cycles Dauphin Racing Team, has been banned for two years after testing positive for erythropoietin (EPO) and an aromatase inhibitor, both of which are illegal under World Anti-Doping Agency rules.
British Cycling announced that Staite will be suspended from 1 May, 2010 to 1 May 2012.
Bob Howden, British Cycling’s Chair of Anti-Doping Commission, said in a statement: “We are naturally disappointed that a cyclist has been found guilty of doping, however, this case shows that the comprehensive testing programme which operates at all levels of the sport is delivering results.”
Staite’s positive came about after he was tested at the Roy Thame Cup on 13 March, 2010. A few days later on 18 March – before the results of his A sample were known – he was visited at his home by UK Anti-Doping officials, who wanted to take a blood sample. However, Staite refused to let them in, claiming he had a heavy cold.
Staite was provisionally suspended from 1 May 2010 and rumours of his positive test started circulating soon afterwards. But unlike many national federations, British Cycling and UK Anti-Doping don’t announce positives until the disciplinary process is complete.
According to the adjudication report, Staite did not dispute the result of his A sample and did not ask for his B sample to be analysed. Still, UKAD felt that he’d been uncooperative in the case and asked for his suspension to be increased from the minimum of two years for “aggravating circumstances”.
Robert Englehart, QC, the arbitrator in the case, dismissed UKAD’s claim, saying that in effect Staite had admitted the charge and had only refused to cooperate in getting his suspension reduced.