CAPE TOWN (VN) — Former U.S. Postal Service rider David George has tested positive for EPO, South African sport authorities reported Tuesday.
George, who rode on the U.S. Postal team in 1999-2000, tested positive for the banned blood booster in an out-of-competition control on August 29, according to the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport.
SAIDS officials said the biological passport helped officials discover the banned substance.
“The blood test showed suspicious activity with regard to possible manipulation of the blood profile and a subsequent urine test came back positive for the banned EPO drug,” said Khalid Galant, CEO of the institute.
“His biological passport, which analyzes the athletes’ blood profile, indicated suspicious activity and that triggered a targeted test for EPO. EPO testing gives us a window of between six and 12 hours for testing because that’s how long it will show up in a test.”
The 36-year-old last raced in Europe in 2006 and had stints at U.S. Postal, Barloworld and Relax-Gam. He was the silver medalist in the 2006 Commonwealth Games, raced in the Olympics and finished on the podium in the Cape Epic.
William Newman, president of Cycling South Africa, says George is provisionally suspended with immediate effect from competing. George faces up to a two-year ban.
“Cycling South Africa respects the independence of the SAIDS process and will respect the outcome,” says Newman. “Cycling SA further reiterates its zero-tolerance to doping in sport and confirms that there is no evidence of this being an endemic problem in the sport in South Africa.”
George was also suspended by his South Africa-backed team, Team 360Life.