PARIS, (Reuters) - Frenchman Lloyd Mondory has failed an out-of-competition test for the banned blood-booster EPO, the UCI said on Tuesday, the third positive case involving his AG2r-La Mondiale team in recent years.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that it has notified French rider Lloyd Mondory of an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 17 February 2015,” the UCI said in a statement.
“In accordance with UCI Anti-doping Rules, the rider has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.”
The AG2r-La Mondiale rider, who could face a two-year ban or be suspended for four years under the new World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code, has the right to request that his B sample be tested. Mondory is the third AG2r-La Mondiale rider to fail a dope test in just over two years after Steve Houanard (EPO) and Sylvain Georges (the stimulant heptaminol) in Sept. 2012 and May 2013.
“He’s the third Frenchman to fail a test in three years, it’s astonishing. I feel ashamed, betrayed and discouraged. The whole team will be soiled. I hope he will have the courage to tell the truth,” said team manager Vincent Lavenu, who led Jean-Christophe Peraud to second overall in last year’s Tour.
The French World Tour (elite) team suspended themselves for a week in June 2013 under the regulations of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC), a group of teams who agreed to implement anti-doping rules tougher than those of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
MPCC regulations state that a team must suspend themselves from racing for eight days in the case of multiple positive tests in the past 12 months.
Mondory, 32, finished seventh in the Clasica de Almeria this season.
The Astana team, who have had multiple positive tests recently, could have their World Tour licence withdrawn this month after the UCI recommended its Licence Commission to do so.
Reporting by Julien Pretot