British cyclist Dan Staite has been banned from competitive cycling for two years after testing positive for EPO and a second banned substance. Staite, who raced for Cycles Dauphin at the start of the year, was tested after the Roy Thame cup, a B level national event, on 13 March and his urine sample was found to contain traces of EPO and 19-androsta-1,4,6-triene-3,17-dione, an aromatase inhibitor that can be used to minimise the side-effects of steroid use.
Staite competed mostly at National B level, although he was elegible for, and raced occasionally, at National A events as well. After the positive urine test UK Anti-Doping representatives sought to obtain a blood sample from Staite but he refused, citing a heavy cold as the reason. The UKAD representatives remained at his house for an hour and the nine-page ruling on Staite's case concludes that "it is clear that Mr Staite was being deliberately obstructive in refusing to provide a blood sample".
In a later email response to Graham Arthur of UKAD, Staite simply stated that "I have nothing more to add to the case and wish to not be contacted concerning this issue in the future". The hearing was held at the end of June in Staite's absence. Despite his failure to co-operate, and the presence of two banned substances in his test sample, Staite was not found to have aggravated the circumstances of his positive test and a two-year ban has been imposed, to run from the time of his first suspension from competition, 1 May 2010, to 1 May 2012.
Rumours of the positive test have been around for a long time. When we contacted British Cycling at the time of the suspension they weren't able to confirm that it was due to a positive EPO test, presumably due to the ongoing nature of the investigation. Bob Howden, chair of British Cycling's anti-doping commission, said in a press release today: "We are naturally disappointed that a cyclist has been found guilty of doping, however, this case shows that the comprehensive testing programme which operates at all levels of the sport is delivering results.
"We have a no tolerance policy towards doping and we are committed to working close with UK Anti-Doping to eradicate the use of performance-enhancing substances from our sport. Mr Staite's example is a warning to all athletes, both amateur and professional, that cheats will be caught and that cycling must be and must be seen to be a drug-free sport."
Dave is a founding father of road.cc and responsible for kicking the server when it breaks. In a previous life he was a graphic designer but he's also a three-time Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling world champion, and remains unbeaten through the bog. Dave rides all sorts of bikes but tends to prefer metal ones. He's getting old is why.