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The Lithuanian cycling federation has imposed a one-year ban on controversial Lithuanian rider Raimondas Rumsas, who tested positive for the banned drug EPO during the Tour of Italy, the federation said Friday.
The federation also fined 31-year-old Rumsas 2,000 Swiss francs (1,300 euros).
“The federation offered a six-month suspension for Rumsas, but the international cycling federation (the Union Cycliste Internationale) did not agree with this and recommended a four-year ban,” said Valentinas Rutkauskas, the secretary general of the Lithuanian cycling federation.
The federation had sent the UCI Rumsas’s explanations for the positive test and asked for the minimum suspension. After receiving a negative reply from the UCI, the Lithuanian federation used its right to cut the UCI-recommended ban to a quarter, Rutkauskas said.
Rumsas, who has been a professional since 1996, finished sixth in the Tour of Italy and tested positive in the May 16 stage, the day before the race’s first mountain finish. He then asked for a second test, which also showed a positive result.
EPO, or erythropoietin, is an endurance-boosting drug.
Last year Rumsas was involved in a scandal after his wife was caught with large quantities of growth hormones and other drugs after the Tour de France in which Rumsas finished third. She was jailed in France and later released. The rider himself tested negative during last year’s Tour de France.
Rumsas is not taking part in this year’s race.–Copyright 2003/AFP