Impey tests positive for masking agent

By admin
02 July 2014

Darrel Impey, the first South African to wear the Tour de France yellow jersey, has tested positive for doping.

South African road cycling champion Darrel Impey has been charged with a doping offence, the SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport (Saids) said on Wednesday.

The 30-year-old cyclist was tested in-competition during the time trials at the SA Road Cycling Championships in Durban on February 6.

Saids CEO Khalid Galant said Impey had been provisionally suspended from June 23 for testing positive for the prescription diuretic Probenecid. He would be afforded an opportunity to defend himself against the doping charge in front of an independent tribunal panel.

"The delay in making the announcement has been due to an extra confirmation analysis requirement, which is routine for banned substances of this nature," Galant said in a statement.

"The unfortunate passing of a key staff member at the doping control laboratory in Bloemfontein in March 2014 also affected the standard turn around time of presenting the final result of the samples from the SA Road Cycling Championships."

Impey, a rider for the Orica-GreenEDGE team, has been omitted from the team's Tour de France lineup.

Australian-based Orica-GreenEDGE released a statement Wednesday saying it was notified by The South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport that the 29-year-old delivered a positive A and B sample to the banned masking agent Probenecid after the South African Championships on February 6.

Impey became the first African rider to wear the Tour de France's yellow jersey last year when he led the standings during stages six and seven. This year's Tour starts Saturday in Leeds, England.

"Impey will not feature on the team's roster until the case has been closed and he is fully eligible to ride," Orica-GreenEDGE said.

Impey said in a statement he had no knowledge of Probenecid and had never knowingly taken the substance.

"I am committed to drug-free sport and fully intend to take all steps necessary to clear myself of any suspicion," he said.

"I immediately flew back to South Africa and was present at the analysis of my B sample on 27 June 2014, the results of which confirmed the initial analysis."

- SAPA

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