EF Pro Cycling suspends Luis Villalobos after UCI's notification of Adverse Analytical Finding
May 19 2020 05:08 am CET

EF Pro Cycling suspends Luis Villalobos after UCI's notification of Adverse Analytical Finding
EF Pro Cycling suspends Luis Villalobos after UCI's notification of Adverse Analytical Finding
© EF Education First Pro Cycling Team

EF Pro Cycling's Luis Villalobos has been suspended from the team after it was notified by the UCI for an Adverse Analytical Finding.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) sent a letter to the team to inform them about the Adverse Analytical Finding in a sample that was taken out of competition on April 15, 2019, in Lago de Moreno, Mexico. The test found the presence of GHRP-6, a growth-hormone releasing peptide, in the sample.

The Mexican joined the team on August 1, 2019, more than three months after the sample was taken. "This team was set up to protect the health and the rights of riders across the sport, particularly the younger riders as they entered the professional level," said EF Pro Cycling's CEO Jonathan Vaughters. "It's hugely upsetting for us when these young riders fall under the guidance of amateur doctors and trainers who ultimately ruin their careers."

The team also commented on the delayed notification and the impossibility of it to test riders for this particular substance. "The team is profoundly disappointed to learn of the potential violation more than a year after the sample was taken and is exploring its legal rights with regard to the extremely delayed notification," said a statement from the formation. "Only World Anti-Doping Agency accredited labs are able to test for GHRP-6, and teams are not allowed to use those labs in the internal screening processes of athletes due to potential conflicts of interest."

"If we'd have known, we would not have signed Luis," Vaughters added. "The burden of this is on the UCI because there is no internal testing program that has access to the level of equipment needed to screen for GHRP-6."

The 21-year-old has the right to request the opening and analysis of the B sample, collected on the same date as the A Sample. "Everyone deserves better," explained Vaughters. "Luis deserved better guidance and mentoring from his past trainers and doctors. And the team deserved better from the UCI than to learn of this situation more than a year after the fact.

"While it's encouraging that the system is catching riders, it has to be more transparent and accountable than this. We are going to encourage Luis to not fight this and to tell the truth, whatever that may be."




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