Pair targeted due to blood value suspicions under biological passport programme

The sport of cyclo-cross was left reeling today after cycling’s governing body, the UCI, revealed that two of its brightest young talents, Polish brothers Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak who finished first and second in January’s Under-23 World Championships at Tabor, Czech Republic, had tested positive for Recombinant EPO.

The pair were subject to targeted urine tests following that race after suspicions were raised as a result of anomalies in blood samples taken before the event under the biological passport programme.

Both riders have been provisionally suspended pending a hearing by the Polish Cycling Federation to ascertain whether one or both of them have committed a violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, and they retain the right to request and attend analysis of their B samples.

In the event that the positive tests are confirmed and the brothers disqualified from their Under-23 World Championship placings, third-placed Arnaud Jouffroy from France would be promoted to first, with Tom Meeusen of Belgium moving up to second and another Pole, Marek Konwa, taking third place.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.