A fourth Spanish cyclist has been provisionally suspended for suspected doping offences, the UCI has announced today.
Margarita Fullana is a triple mountain biking world champion and bronze medallist in the discipline at the Sydney Olympics.
The UCI has advised her that she is provisionally suspended following a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Montreal indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a urine sample collected from her in an out of competition test on 30 August 2010.
The suspension will remain in force until a hearing panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation determines whether she has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
Like all provisionally suspended athletes she will have the right to request and attend the analysis of her B sample.
UPDATE: In a statement on her website, Fullana has admitted that she is guilty of the doping offence for which she has been suspended. She said:
"Through an article in the sports press I learned that I have provided a positive sample in the out of competition anti-doping test I underwent in Mont Saint Anne.
I have done the most stupid thing in my life. I have had a terrible year physically and mentally. Throughout my sporting life I have never resorted to illegal substances. I never needed to as I had sufficient strength and determination.
But this year, in spite of trying and trying nothing was going right for me and I had this damned opportunity to get hold of a substance, but in such a small quantity that it made no difference. I did not improve and my world championship race went like all the others: badly, horrendously.
I have been stupid, but I am brave enough to recognise it. I have spent so many years working to build a sporting career and now through one error that I have made, I have put my foot in it.
I can only say that I am sorry, I feel I have cheated you, I have cheated myself more. I will accept my sanction and turn the page. Life goes on and now it’s up to me to continue fighting in another area of my life. I am grateful for the support of my sponsors and regret the damage I have caused to them. I will not be making any further comment and now it's time for me to forget this episode as quickly as possible."