Monaco’s Cycling Federation has handed a two-year suspension to former Silence-Lotto rider Thomas Dekker for an EPO positive that resulted from the re-testing of an old sample last year.
Dekker, who was licensed in Monaco, learned last summer that the UCI retested a sample from December of 2007, after doping officials found suspicious data in the rider’s blood profiles maintained as part of the governing body’s biological passport program. When the initial sample tested positive for Dynepo — a variant of EPO — Dekker denied using the drug, but then admitted to doping when the B-sample came back positive as well.
When Dekker’s A sample came back positive on the eve of the Tour de France, team manager Marc Sergeant was quick to point out that the alleged violation did not occur while Dekker was a member of the Silence-Lotto team.
“I am sorry this happened, of course,” said Sergeant, “It’s important to remember that this occurred when he was a member of Rabobank, but it still doesn’t make the news any less disappointing.”
Dekker admitted two years ago that he had collaborated with the infamous Luigi Cecchini, an Italian physician who has been linked to allegations of doping. Dekker was Dutch national champion in 2004 and 2005 and won Tirreno-Adriatico in 2006 and the Tour of Lombardy in 2007. His suspension will end on July 1 of 2011.
Dekker did not challenge his suspension and has said he will not appeal. The 25-year-old Dekker has said that he intends to return to the sport.