Ian McLeod receives six month doping sanction

MTN Energade Cycling Team athlete Ian McLeod has received a six month doping sanction for testing positive for a glucocorticosteroid, Deflazacort found in his urine after the South African Championships held on 19 February 2010 in Klerksdorp. The South African Institute of Drug- Free Sport (SAIDS) released the findings and sentence handed down to McLeod during his hearing on 5 May 2010.

Ian suffers from chronic asthma which is controlled through the daily use of inhaled Symbicort (bronchodilator and glucocorticosteroid combination) for which he has received Therapeutic Use Exemptions (TUEs) from SAIDS and WADA for the past five years.

The prohibited substance found in his system does not form part of McLeod’s prescription medication. He denies having intentionally taken the prohibited substance. His explanation, which was accepted by SAIDS during the hearing, is that it entered his body through the ingestion of contaminated sports drink bottles taken inadvertently from non-team sources during the race.

Ian McLeod is the current African Champion and leader of the African Continental Tour. He has been a professional cyclist for the past 10 years, racing both locally and at a Pro Tour level in Europe. During his career, Ian has been tested by WADA and their representatives on a regular basis (specifically 10 times during 2009) and has never previously tested positive for prohibited substances.

The team takes the findings of SAIDS extremely seriously. Based on the fact that the athlete and management are consulting with their legal advisors on the findings and outcomes of the hearing, and next steps, the team cannot comment any further on this issue until this process has been concluded.

For further information contact Douglas Ryder, Team Owner douglas@ryder.co.za