Test of Dekker’s B sample confirms original positive
By Agence France Presse
The B-sample requested by former Silence-Lotto rider Thomas Dekker has confirmed his positive drugs test for the banned blood-booster EPO, the Dutch ANP news agency reported on Wednesday.
The wire service said that Dekker has accepted the findings and is awaiting his sanction.
The sample was originally taken on December 24, 2007, but new procedures introduced since then allowed for further tests which revealed a positive reading for EPO and the rider was ruled out of this year’s Tour de France three days before the start in July.
The WADA code provides for an eight-year statute of limitations on earlier doping violations.
World cycling’s governing body the UCI said it had also taken into account elements of Dekker’s blood profile in his biological passport in 2008 and 2009 to order disciplinary proceedings on suspicion of doping.
It is not the first time the Dutchman, who won the Tirreno-Adriatico stage race in 2006 and the Tour of Lombardy in 2007, has been embroiled in controversy.
Dekker’s move to Silence-Lotto at the start of the 2009 season was in part prompted by the Rabobank team’s decision to leave him off of its Tour de France squad in 2008. The team cited “abnormal blood values” from that year’s Tour de Suisse as justification for its decision.
When Dekker’s A sample came back positive on the eve of the Tour, team manager Marc Sergeant was quick to point out that the alleged violation did not occur while Dekker was a member of the Silence-Lotto team.
“I am sorry this happened, of course,” said Sergeant, “It’s important to remember that this occurred when he was a member of Rabobank, but it still doesn’t make the news any less disappointing.”
Dekker admitted two years ago that he had collaborated with the infamous Luigi Cecchini, an Italian physician who has been linked to allegations of doping.
The WADA Code provides for a two-year suspension for a first offense.