Mayo's backup sample from Tour de France positive for doping

PARIS -- A backup urine sample taken from Spanish cyclist
Iban Mayo during this year's Tour de France has tested positive for

"We were informed about last week about it," International
Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid said Wednesday. "The 'A'
sample was positive and it didn't surprise us that the 'B' sample
would be positive."

French sports daily L'Equipe reported that the test was carried
out by the French doping laboratory in Chatenay-Malabry. The new
test was a source of contention with Mayo, who opposed it, the
report said.

In July, the UCI announced that Mayo tested positive for the
blood-booster EPO. The backup sample was transferred to a
laboratory in Ghent, Belgium, for analysis after the Tour, when the
French lab was closed for vacation.

The Belgian lab, which uses a different test than its French
counterpart, said the results were inconclusive. The Spanish
federation ruled the case closed, but the UCI authorized a new test
at the French lab.

McQuaid said the testing was done under "the proper
protocols," and that the Spanish federation does not have a case
to dispute the findings.

"Let's see what they can do with it," McQuaid said. "As far
as I'm concerned they're looking for excuses."

Mayo, who finished 16th in the Tour, was suspended without pay
while his Saunier-Duval team awaited the results on his "B"
sample. He faces a minimum two-year suspension if found guilty of

"The analysis in Ghent did not give a result, neither positive
nor negative, so it is therefore logical that a second analysis was
carried out," UCI lawyer Philippe Verbiest told L'Equipe. "Now
the normal procedure will go into effect -- proceedings against Mayo
for an apparent anti-doping violation."