LONDON (Reuters) - Fears that the use of performance-enhancing drugs in amateur cycling are on the rise increased with a confession by a British junior national champion to having used the banned blood booster EPO.
Eighteen year-old Gabriel Evans said in a statement on a time-trialling website and an interview with Cycling Weekly magazine that he had been tempted to dope after losing the national 25-mile time trial title in August and having watched a BBC documentary on doping.
“A lot of it was curiosity. On 3 August 2015 I bought EPO for the first time,” he wrote.
”On 11 August 2015 I traveled to France for a week’s training camp with the family of a then-team mate.
”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.”
Evans won the national junior 10-mile time trial in September but has subsequently been stripped of the title and dismissed by two amateur clubs, London Dynamo and Catford CC Equipe/Banks.
He has refused to say who supplied him with the EPO but offered a warning to anyone considering using performance enhancing drugs.
“Know that my choice has turned out to be immensely destructive,” he said.
UKAD have not yet revealed his punishment.
In a further blow to the sport, British Masters champions Andrew Hastings, 35, was banned on Thursday for using anabolic steroids despite coming up with a novel excuse.
Hastings tested positive at the National Time Trial Championships in May and the following day won the British Cycling Masters 35-39 age group title.
He said he had borrowed a used syringe from a stranger at a gym to inject a vitamin and that the steroids detected must have come from that needle.
Reporting by Steve Tongue, editing by Mitch Phillips