News Flash for October 30, 2004
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Santi Perez positive for blood transfusion?
According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Phonak's Santiago Perez has tested postive for blood transfusion in a doping control, said to have been carried out just before or during the Vuelta a España, where the 27 year old rider finished second overall. Marca claimed that a counter-analysis has already been performed, and also showed evidence of blood transfusion.
Marca also published that the alleged doping offence was the reason for Perez' non-participation at the 2004 World Championships in Verona, which he skipped because of gastroenteritis according to his management. The newspaper attributed the rider's difficulties renewing his contract with the Swiss Phonak team to the positive doping control. The reason why the UCI or the Spanish cycling federation haven't issued an official statement yet is said to be due to a technical mistake, as neither the rider nor a representative of the team were present at the analysis of the B sample.
If these allegations prove to be true, Santiago Perez will be the second rider in history to have tested positive for a blood transfusion, after his teammate Tyler Hamilton.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)