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New sample shows Garcia da Peña positive for EPO

Xacobeo-Galicia's David Garcia da Peña has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive

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Xacobeo-Galicia’s David Garcia da Peña has been provisionally suspended by the UCI after a second sample he submitted during the Vuelta a España returned a positive result.

Garcia da Peña has already tested positive for the presence of Hydroxyethyl Starch (HES), a blood volume enhancer that can be used to hide the use of EPO and blood-doping practices. His positive for HES came from a sample submitted on September 16.

On Wednesday, the UCI announced that a sample taken three days before that first positive sample, tested positive for the presence of recombinant erythropoietin (EPO).

“The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Madrid indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from him at an in-competition test at the Vuelta on September 13, 2010,” the UCI said in a statement.

The UCI had already announced last week that the 33-year-old, as well as his Xacobeo-Galicia teammate and Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera, had tested positive for HES.

Garcia da Peña, who finished 11th in the Vuelta, will now face a disciplinary hearing by the Spanish Cycling Federation to determine whether he violated anti-doping rules.

HES increases the volume of plasma in the circulatory system, but it also helps to mask the use of EPO and blood-doping practices by reducing the overall percentage of red blood cells in a given volume of blood.

Under cycling rules, a positive for a masking agent like HES does not warrant an immediate provisional suspension, while performance-enhancing EPO does.

Garcia da Peña has the option of asking for his B sample to be tested.