By VeloNews Interactive Wire Services, Copyright AFP 2001
Swiss cyclist Roland Meier returned a positive test for the banned endurance stimulant EPO (erythropoietin) following the Fleche Wallonne one-day classic last month, the SportInformation agency reported in Geneva on May 15.
A urine sample provided by the 33-year-old Zurich-based cyclist after the race at Huy, Belgium was found to contain the banned substance when examined in the University of Lausanne.
The Team Coast rider can request that his B-sample be tested and if that returns a positive test Meier faces a ban of between six months and one year in addition to a fine of up to $2300.
Swiss Cycling has opened proceedings against the cyclist and a ban would effectively end his professional career which began in 1993 with the Dutch TVM team.
During his career Meier also cycled for the Post Swiss Team, followed by three seasons with Cofidis before joining German outfit Team Coast this season.
He recorded seven wins in Swiss races during his career and on the international scene his best performance was a second place in the 11th stage of the 1998 Tour de France, where he was beaten by eventual champion Marco Pantani of Italy, following a long break-away in the Pyrenees.
EPO, which delays fatigue by increasing blood oxygenation, has up until recently been relatively undetectable.
Copyright AFP 2001