Spanish press reports two-year ban for Santiago Perez, while Spanish national coach and his federati
PIC BY TDWSPORT.COM Certain sections of the Spanish press are reporting that former Phonak rider Santiago Perez has been banned for two years by the Spanish federation after testing positive for blood doping. Although the news has been widely reported in Spain, the Spanish federation has yet to confirm this decision. If verified, the ban will mean that Perez will be unable to compete until the 2007 season and will not be able to take up an offer to ride for the Relax-Fuenlabrada team. The 27-year-old Spaniard, who finished as runner-up in the Vuelta last September, underwent a test for blood doping last October in Switzerland. Perez is expected to appeal against the ban to the Court for Arbitration in Sport. Tyler Hamilton’s hearing with the US Anti-Doping Agency on similar blood doping charges is scheduled to take place this week. Like Perez, Hamilton was released from his contract with Phonak after his blood doping charge was confirmed. Meanwhile, Spanish road coach Paco Antequera has said that it is “99% certain” that he will remain in that position after talks between his representative and the Spanish federation last week. Antequera was in danger of losing his post after backing the losing candidate in the Spanish federation’s presidential elections, but the four victories he has overseen in the world road championship since 1999 appear to have saved him.