Spanish rider Eladio Jiménez Sanchez has been provisionally suspended by the Union Cycliste Internationale after testing positive for the banned blood booster EPO during last summer’s Volta a Portugal.
In a statement released Monday, the UCI said that a Madrid lab found Jiménez Sanchez positive for EPO. The sample was taken on August 12 after Jiménez Sanchez won stage 6 of the Portuguese tour while riding for C.C. Loulé-Louletano. He went on to finish sixth overall at 3:08 behind winner Nuno Ribeiro (Liberty Seguros).
Jiménez Sanchez, 33, is a three-time winner of stages at the Vuelta a España, the last coming in 2005 when he won the prestigious climbing stage to Lagos de Covadonga. A former rider at Kelme and Banesto, he rode for Karpin-Galicia in 2007 and Portuguese teams in 2008-09.
He was poised to join Rock Racing in 2010, but now his future will be uncertain.
“The provisional suspension of Mr. Jiménez Sanchez remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Spanish cycling federation determines whether he has indeed committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules,” the UCI stated. “Mr. Jiménez Sanchez has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.”
There was no immediate word from Jiménez Sanchez.