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Samuel Sanchez provisionally suspended for adverse doping control; expresses his surprise

Jack Elton-Walters
17 Aug 2017

Samuel Sanchez returned an adverse reading from an out-of-competition control, but says that he has 'a clear conscience'

Samuel Sanchez (BMC Racing) has been provisionally suspended by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) after he returned an Adverse Analytical Finding for a banned growth hormone.

The sample was collected in an out-of-competition control on 9th August 2017 by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the UCI, according to a statement from the governing body.

The doping control came back positive for GHRP-2. GH-Releasing Peptides (GHRPs) are classified as 'Peptide Hormones, Growth Factors, Related Substances and Mimetics' and are included on the World Anti-Doping Prohibited List for 2017.

The UCI has given the rider the right to 'request and attend the analysis of a B sample.'

BMC Racing reiterate zero tolerance policy

The Spanish rider's team quickly released their own statement in reference to the positive A sample.

'BMC Racing was notified on Thursday 17th August by the UCI of a potential anti-doping violation for the presence of GHRP-2 and its metabolite, in an out-of-race anti-doping control for Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez.

'In accordance with BMC Racing Team’s zero tolerance policy and UCI regulation, Sánchez has been provisionally suspended with immediate effect.

'Until the results of the B sample are provided, no further action will be taken.'

The team went on to reiterate its policy of competing clean by adding, 'all riders and staff are held to the highest ethical standard and BMC Racing is extremely disappointed to share this news on the eve of the Vuelta a España.

Sanchez had been named in BMC's line-up for the Vuelta a Espana, which starts this Saturday. He will now be replaced by Loïc Vliegen.

Sanchez speaks of 'surprise'

A few hours after the new broke, Sanchez was interviewed by the Spanish press and said that the positive test was 'a total surprise,' reports AS.

'The lawyers have told me not to make statements because we have to wait for the result of the analysis of the B sample,' Sanchez explained.

He was keen to clarify the nature of the reading, stating that, 'It is an adverse result, not a positive result, but in any case for me it has been a total surprise, I do not I can believe.'

The 2008 Olympic Road Race Champion is nearing the end of his career and highlighted this fact in explaining the situation.

'I'm 39 years old, I'm 19 [years] professional and I'm about to retire, why should I get into this?'

The rider was already in Nimes, France, awaiting the start of the Vuelta a Espana on Saturday 19th August.

'I have heard the news in Nimes, and now I'm going home to wait for events.

'I found out this morning, they told me by phone and email and I couldn't believe it.'

Sanchez added that he has 'a clear conscience.'