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Jarlinson Pantano (Trek-Segafredo) was provisionally suspended in April 2019 for an adverse analytical finding in a sample taken at an out of competition test performed in February 2019.
In a published statement, the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal today wrote, “The Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation — presence of Recombinant Erythropoietin — and imposed a four year period of ineligibility on the rider.”
While Pantano proclaimed his innocence at the time, he still retired in the spring of 2019.
At the time of his suspension, Pantano claimed that “EPO is injected, so I have no idea how it got into my body. There are a lot of things that don’t make sense. I gave the positive on February 26, but I had controls on March 10 and January 21, but neither of them was positive. I have more than 60 controls with the biological passport, the levels are the same, and everything equal. I always had zero-tolerance and I had a two-year contract, so I had no reason to do it.”
Pantano, 31, had no results to speak of in 2019. He is a stage winner at the Tour de France, Volta a Catalunya, and the Tour de Suisse. He also won Colombia’s national time trial championships in 2017.
Increased controls, the introduction of the biological passport, and improved detection methods have led to less blatant abuse of the blood booster, but some say EPO and other illicit products are still being abused via “micro-dosing” that can evade testing controls.