LONDON (VN) — This can’t be the Grand Départ Orica-GreenEdge was hoping for.
As the media attention around pro cycling begins to roil across the world and the Tour heads north to start in just days, an Orica-GreenEdge rider, Daryl Impey, tested positive in both A and B samples for probenecid, a diuretic and possible masking agent.
Probenecid has long been abused in the peloton. In 1988, Spanish rider Pedro Delgado tested positive for it in stage 17 en route to winning that year’s Tour de France. Banned by the International Olympic Committee, the product wasn’t on the UCI’s banned list, a technicality that allowed Delgado to remain in the race, and win the maillot jaune. Probenecid was later added to the UCI’s list, while Delgado insisted on his innocence, citing that no other controls revealed probenecid or steroids.
The samples were given after the South African championships on February 6, 2014. Impey, 29, was not slated to ride this year’s Tour de France but made history last year, as the first African to wear the yellow jersey at the sport’s biggest race.
“The team would like to underline that it respects Daryl Impey’s right to prove his full innocence and will not comment any further until the process has run its due course and final conclusion has been made,” a statement from the team read.
Also, per the team release, “Impey will not feature on the team’s roster until the case has been closed and he is fully eligible to ride.”
Impey has won the South African national time trial championship on three occasions, a team time trial at the Tour with Orica last year, and the Tour of Turkey in 2009. He began his career with Barloworld in 2008, then moved to RadioShack, MTN Qhubeka, NetApp, and, finally, Orica.