news

AG2R's Steve Houanard provisionally suspended after testing positive for EPO

26-year-old has right to request test of B sample, team manager Lavenu expresses shock and anger

The UCI has revealed that AG2R-La Mondiale rider Steve Houanard has been provisionally suspended following an adverse analytical finding for EPO.

The banned substance was found in a urine sample taken from the 26-year-old in an out of competition test on 21 September 2012 which was analysed at a World Anti-Doping Agency accredited laboratory in Barcelona.

Houanard, who turned professional with Skil-Shimano in 2009 and joined his current team at the start of the 2011 season, riding that year's Vuelta, has the right to request and attend an analysis test of his B sample.

The UCI added: “The provisional suspension of Mr Houanard remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the French Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.”

In a statement published in English on its website this evening, AG2R-La Mondiale said: “We heard at 6:20 p.m. by an official announcement of the International Cycling Union that Steve Houanard has been tested positive for EPO on September 21st.

“We are obviously extremely shocked by this news. Therefore, we decided to immediately to push him aside from competition and we lay him off as a precautionary measure until the French National Federation opens disciplinary proceedings.”

The team’s general manager,

Vincent Lavenu, added: "It is with sadness that I heard this unfortunate news. Above all, I’m driven this evening by a strong feeling of anger because of important damages for the team and our sponsors.

“I want to reiterate our commitment to the biological passport and to the values upheld by the International Cycling Union. We have full confidence in the competent authorities in their fight against doping.”
 

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

Latest Comments

  • zerolight 4 min 52 sec ago

    Cheers. I'll add it to the list. I'm 61.5cm, but it's long and narrow.

  • Jimmy Ray Will 6 min 10 sec ago

    I'd second the comments around changing from looking at distance and instead focusing on time. Your body can only work to a certain level, this is...

  • RobD 22 min 43 sec ago

    So all the drivers from the vido the other day, driving on the pavement to get around the road closure, will all have had a visit from half a dozen...

  • fukawitribe 23 min 1 sec ago

    It does measure wind speed, and ground speed so can do some analysis (which is how they perform power estimation afterall) - should be good enough...

  • Panslanepaul 57 min 41 sec ago

    People in glass houses.. your profile picture is called skinny banana 2. So only half of a poor, poor 4 (lyrics copyright The Beautiful South).

  • jaicamp 1 hour 25 min ago

    It's going back under Canyon's 30 day option. Shame - it's a fantastic machine apart from the paintwork

  • Pilot Pete 9 hours 54 min ago

    I don't wear bib tights. When the temperature dips below 15*C I wear an Under Armour Cold Gear long sleeved thermal top, then a normal summer...

  • Prosper0 10 hours 21 min ago

    A spectacularly ugly bike. 'Jolly tractor' is the right descriptor as honestly it looks like a farm gate....

  • giff77 11 hours 16 min ago

    Not even then. I had footage of me swerving to avoid a collision and the constable wasn't interested. In fact the 'plastic peeler' at the desk...

  • SimonAY 12 hours 22 min ago

    I dont think you'll notice a huge amount of difference in your speed with any of those. Another suggestion would be the Orbea Orca, your budget...