Three Continental Team riders have been provisionally suspended for the use of CERA. Earlier this week the UCI advised Spanish riders Isidro Nozal Vega and Hector Guerra Garcia, and Portuguese rider Nuno Ribeiro that they had failed tests for and would be suspended pending the testing of their 'B' sample.
The decision was made in response to reports from the WADA accredited laboratories in Lausanne and Paris indicating an Adverse Analytical Finding of Recombinant EPO (CERA) in blood samples collected from the three riders during an out-of-competition test on August 3 this year.
Mr Guerra and Mr Ribeiro were listed by their National Federations as competitors in the UCI Road World Championships commencing in Mendrisio, Switzerland, next week. The Spanish and Portuguese Federations have been instructed by the UCI to remove these riders from their national teams.
According to a UCI statement the tests were conducted by the Portuguese National Anti-Doping Agency on behalf of the UCI based on information received about the activities of the riders.
The provisional suspension of these riders remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the riders’ Federations determines whether they have committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules. The three riders have the right to request and attend the analysis of their B samples.
Liberty Seguros were heavily implicated in the Operation Puerto affair in Spain when both the team's then boss Manolo Saiz being arrested as part of the investigation.