IVREA, Italy (AFP) — French rider Sylvain Georges (Ag2r La Mondiale) is facing a disciplinary hearing after confirmation Tuesday of the presence of a banned substance in a sample taken after stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia.
The stimulant heptaminol was detected in Georges’ urine after the stage on May 10. The B sample confirmed the result, according to the sport’s world governing body, the UCI.
“Conforming to the rules, the UCI will ask the French Cycling Federation to start a disciplinary procedure against the rider,” a UCI statement announced.
Ag2r La Mondiale withdrew Georges from the Giro following his positive test.
Heptaminol, used to improve blood circulation, is available over the counter in pharmacies in France and is classified as a Specified Substance. According to the World Anti-Doping Code, Georges faces a two-year ban, but could avoid any sanction if he can prove accidental ingestion:
Article 10.4 Elimination or Reduction of the Period of Ineligibility for Specified Substances under Specific Circumstances Where an Athlete or other Person can establish how a Specified Substance entered his or her body or came into his or her Possession and that such Specified Substance was not intended to enhance the Athlete’s sport performance or mask the Use of a performance-enhancing substance, the period of Ineligibility found in Article 10.2 shall be replaced with the following:
First violation: At a minimum, a reprimand and no period of Ineligibility from future Events, and at a maximum, two (2) years of Ineligibility.
To justify any elimination or reduction, the Athlete or other Person must produce corroborating evidence in addition to his or her word which establishes to the comfortable satisfaction of the hearing panel the absence of an intent to enhance sport performance or mask the Use of a performance-enhancing substance. The Athlete’s or other Person’s degree of fault shall be the criterion considered in assessing any reduction of the period of Ineligibility.