Two-year doping ban for Thomas Dekker
Rider who failed retest before last year's Tour de France calls EPO use a one-off "mistake"
The 25-year-old Dutch cyclist Thomas Dekker has been banned for two years by the Monaco cycling federation (FMC), the body which holds the license of the cyclist, according to press reports in the Netherlands.
Dekker was suspended by Silence-Lotto shortly just days before last year’s Tour de France got under way in Monaco after it was revealed that traces of a previously undetectable type of EPO had been discovered in the re-test of a sample originally taken from the rider in December 2007, when he was still with Rabobank.
The rider had been singled out for retesting as a result of perceived abnormalities in data analyse under the UCI’s biological passport scheme, suspicions that turned out to be correct.
Rabobank itself had evidently had doubts over Dekker, leaving him out of its team for the 2008 Tour de France due to “abnormal blood values” in samples taken during that year’s Tour de Suisse from the rider, who had previously admitted being a client of Michele Ferrari, the Italian doctor who has been linked to allegations of doping.
The Dutch cyclist originally denied using performance-enhancing substances, but confessed after his B sample also proved positive, saying that he had used EPO once – although the abnormal data in his biological passport contradict that – and that it had been “a mistake” but he was nevertheless sacked by Silence-Lotto.
Dekker’s two-year ban has been backdated to commence at the time his A sample was retested last summer, although even if he did find a team willing to take him on should he return to the sport in 2011, it’s unlikely that Tour de France organisers would welcome him back with open arms given the shadow his failed test cast over last year’s Grand Départ.