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Movistar’s Roson sidelined for bio passport red flags

Due to biological passport abnormalities from last season, Jaime Roson has been provisionally suspended.

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Movistar’s Jaime Roson was provisionally suspended Thursday following red flags in the Spanish rider’s biological passport dating back more than one year.

Movistar said it was notified overnight by the UCI of an adverse analytical finding in Roson’s biological passport data dating back to January 2017.

Movistar was quick to point out that Roson, who raced with Caja Rural from 2015-2017, was not part of the team at the time of his alleged biological passport infraction. Roson, 25, won the Tour of Aragon in April and recently finished 51st overall at the Critérium du Dauphiné. Roson was not part of Movistar’s eight-rider Tour de France roster revealed this week.

This appears to be the first case citing the biological passport involving a cyclist since the high-profile case involving Roman Kreuziger in 2015. Kreuziger was facing a possible ban following anomalies in blood profiles when the UCI and WADA dropped charges against just ahead of a scheduled appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport that year.

The biological passport, introduced in 2008, tracks blood and marker levels over a period of time to detect possible blood manipulation and some types of steroid abuse. More than a dozen riders have been directly sanctioned for biological passport anomalies with several others testing positive for banned products using biological passport data to target anti-doping controls against suspicious riders.

According to WADA rules, Roson will be provisionally suspended following the adverse analytical finding.

Those rules outlining biological passport cases are in contrast to Chris Froome’s adverse analytical finding as part of his unresolved case involving high levels of salbutamol. Because salbutamol is a threshold product or “specified substance,” rules do not automatically trigger a provisional ban. Froome is allowed to race and is expected to start the Tour de France next week.

Roson released this statement: “With reference to the communication received today of a process undertaken from the UCI in regards to my assumed violation of the anti-doping normative, I declare myself foreign to the use of any substance and/or doping method, and I will take care to defend myself in any place to prove my own innocence.”

On Friday, the UCI released this statement: “The UCI confirms that the rider Jaime Roson Garcia was notified of an Anti-Doping Rule Violation based on abnormalities from 2017 detected in his Biological Passport. In accordance with the UCI Anti-Doping Rules (ADR), the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair. At this stage of the procedure, the UCI will not comment any further on this matter.”

Full statement from Movistar:

“The Abarca Sports organization received yesterday evening, Wednesday 27th June 2018, an official communication from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) where it was notified of the provisional suspension of its rider Jaime Rosón García, due to an adverse analytical finding in his biological passport, dated January 2017, nearly one year before joining the team.

“Given this communication, we would like to present the following qualifications:

“1. Since he joined the team during the current 2018 season, the rider’s behavior, health analytics and biological passport values have been irreproachable.

“2. Because of that, our team will cooperate with the rider to try and find an explanation to this case, whose resolution we abide by and understand, by virtue of the UCI’s rules and regulations.

“3. As an advocate of cycling’s credibility and fair play, and following the UCI’s Anti-Doping Rules, our team provisionally suspends its working relationship with the rider.”