By VeloNews Interactive, with wire services
British cyclist Charles Wegelius, who failed a blood test during the Tour of Lombardy last October, has been cleared of doping by the UCI, his De Nardi team announced Tuesday.
The 25-year-old rider, ranked 857th in the world, was excluded from the final leg of the 10-race World Cup, after a pre-race blood test showed his hematocrit level to be above the permitted threshold of 50 percent.
A subsequent urine sample, which tested negative for the banned blood-boosting drug EPO (Erythropoietin), cleared the Finnish-born rider of doping.
“The security commission and sporting conditions of the UCI submitted the rider to haematic and clinical tests. It excluded the use of EPO or other doping substances capable of altering blood levels,” the Italian team asserted.
“The results from the tests confirmed the total good faith of the rider and the sporting team,” added the team, noting that Wegelius had a naturally high hematocrit level.
A team spokesman explained that Wegelius had his spleen removed after a motorbike accident in 1998, which could have affected the blood test.