British National Junior 10 Mile Time Trial champion Gabriel Evans, aged 18, has admitted using EPO after UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) was informed that he was in possession of the banned substance.
Evans made a frank admission of his use of the banned substance on Timetriallingforum.co.uk forum earlier today, and has since had his membership of London Dynamo terminated, with the club saying in a tweet that it “has a zero tolerance approach to doping.”
The London teenager, who won the National Junior 25 Time Trial in 2014 and rode for the Elite outfit Catford CC-Equipe Banks this year, said he first bought EPO on 3 August this year – that is, two days after he lost that title, coming second.
He says he raced one time after UKAD had been alerted to his use of EPO by the father of a team mate, in September's National Junior 10 Mile Time Trial Championship, which he won.
His admission comes on the same day that UKAD announced that Andrew Hastings, a member of Richardsons-Trek RT, had tested positive for two anabolic steroids and as a result banned from all sport for four years.
Here is Evans' post on Timetriallingforum.co.uk, in full.
I am a 2nd-year junior rider from central London. I have been involved in high-level sport since 14. In 2013 I won the London Youth Games Cycling TT and in 2014 I had some road race results as well as winning the National Junior 25 TT, and got a place with a semi-professional British team for the 2015 season.
On 3 August 2015 I bought EPO for the first time. On 11 August 2015 I travelled to France for a weeks training camp with the family of a then-teammate. With me I brought one vial of EPO. This was found by the teammate's father who presented evidence to UK Anti-Doping. UKAD contacted me shortly after to arrange a deposition, in which I promptly admitted to all wrongdoing. I withdrew from the upcoming Junior Tour of Wales, the premier event on the junior calendar.
I have competed only one time since buying the drugs; on 5 September 2015 I raced the National Junior 10m TT in which I finished 1st. I did not have this race in mind when I used the drugs; I realise that competing was (another) huge mistake but at the time my intent was not malicious. I was hoping to regain some normality and that the whole mess would somehow be swept under the rug. I have now forfeited this title.
First of all I would like to say that I am extremely sorry to those who have supported me thus far, especially to those individuals and clubs who have been an endless resource over my intense, albeit short, journey. I know that this will come as a nasty shock, and I wish that I could apologise in person to all of you.
I would also particularly like to apologise to the competitors and organisers of the 2015 Junior National 10 TT, especially to those three riders who were cheated out of medals.
Finally: if there is anybody reading this who is considering using PEDs, know that my choice has turned out to be immensely destructive and has seriously affected my personal life for the past four months (and, I’m sure, will continue to do so). When each week yields news of another positive test it can be easy to work yourself into a mentality whereby doping can be normalised and justified. In reality it strips all enjoyment out of riding. It is immensely damaging not only to your sporting career but also your personal life and it is also very, very dangerous. There is nothing that I would not give to be able to turn back the clock to August 2015 and have that choice again.
I am doing the best I can to put this right by being as honest and contrite as possible. I plan to continue to train hard for the duration of my ban and return to racing once it expires, whenever that should be.
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.