Lampre-Merida's Miguel Ubeto provisionally suspended after positive test for black market drug GW1516

Product was subject of a WADA health warning to athletes earlier this year

In its second communiqué released today relating to doping, the UCI has announced that it has suspended 36-year-old Lampre-Merida rider Miguel Ubeto in relation to a positive test taken out of competition for the substance GW1516.

The substance, which has been described as the new EPO – it is said to have a big effect on increasing athletes’ endurance – is not currently approved for clinical use anywhere in the world.

In March, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) took the unusual step of warning athletes of the health risks associated with taking the substance, which can only be obtained on the black market.

Uberto is the first rider from a WorldTour team to have tested positive for the substance, although in recent weeks a number of cyclists, including four from Costa Rica and RusVelo’s Valery Kakov, have been suspended after being linked to it.

Investigated as a potential product by UK phrarmaceutical gian GlaxoSmithKline, the company decided to halt development of the use of GW1516 its use by humans after tests on lab rats found that high dosage resulted in their contracting certain cancers.

In its statement, the UCI said:

The UCI advised Venezuelan rider Miguel Ubeto Aponte that he is provisionally suspended. The decision to provisionally suspend this rider was made in response to a report from the WADA accredited laboratory in Köln indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of GW1516 sulfone – Metabolic Modulator in a urine sample collected from him in an out of competition test on 16 April 2013.

The provisional suspension of Mr. Miguel Ubeto Aponte remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Venezuelan Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

Mr. Miguel Ubeto Aponte has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample.

Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.

A multiple Venezuelan national road race champion, as well as winner of the UCI America Tour in 2011, despite his age – he will be 37 in September – Ubeto only turned professional last year, with the Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team.

He left the UCI Professional Continental outfit to join Lampre-Merida at the end of last season.

Simon has been news editor at 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.

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