Margarita Fullana suspended for doping

Three times world champion and Olympic cycling medallist Margarita Fullana of Spain has been provisionally suspended after testing positive to banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO).

The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the ban on Saturday, dealing a further blow to the sport’s battered image.

The suspension had been handed down after a WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal reported an “adverse analytical finding of EPO” in a urine sample collected in an out-of-competition test on August 30, the UCI said in a statement.

“The provisional suspension of Ms Fullana remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation determines whether she has committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules,” the statement said.

“Ms Fullana has the right to request and attend the analysis of her 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.”

The 38-year-old Fullana won bronze in the cross-country cycling at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and is a three-time winner at the mountain bike world championships.

Alberto Contador was also recently provisionally suspended for testing positive for a banned drug called clenbuterol. On the very same day, two more Spaniards were tested positive for hydroxyethyl. Ezequiel Mosquera and team-mate David Garcia Da Pena tested positive for the banned drug.