Gran Fondo New York winner stripped of title for doping

Oscar Tovar of Colombia tests positive for testosterone at May event in New York.

The winner of the 2015 Campagnolo Gran Fondo New York, Oscar Tovar of Colombia, failed an in-competition anti-doping test at the May event and has been stripped of his title, organizers and the U.S. Anti Doping Agency (USADA) announced Wednesday.

A USADA test found that Tovar, 32, had synthetic testosterone in his system on May 17, 2015, following the 100-mile event. According to WADA rules, he has been banned for two years. Additionally, Gran Fondo New York (GFNY) has banned him for life from all GFNY of its events.

“We are of course upset and hurt that a doper taints the reputation of our race and had us celebrate him on the day,” said GFNY CEO Uli Fluhme. “However, it’s without a doubt more important for us to do what we can to make our race fair, of which doping controls are an integral part. Simply looking away and not testing the athletes is the worst decision that a race director can make because it forces everyone to take drugs to try to level the playing field.”

Tovar was also randomly tested as part of pre-race anti-doping controls. That sample returned negative.

Another Colombian also tested positive for a banned substance at GFNY, Yamile Lugo, who finished third-place overall in the women’s field. Lugo’s sample also indicated the presence of a steroid of exogenous origin.