Cycling

Impey cleared of doping

Daryl Impey (Getty Images)
Daryl Impey (Getty Images)
Cape Town - South African cyclist Daryl Impey has been cleared of doping charges, the SA Institute for Drug Free Sport (Saids) said on Friday.

Saids CEO Khalid Galant said a more detailed statement would be issued later on Friday confirming the 29-year-old had been cleared of charges after failing a doping test in February.

"This is the best news to give to all my family, friends, team and fans," the cyclist tweeted on Friday.

Impey, who made history last year as the first ever African to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France, tested positive at the SA Road Championships for the prescription diuretic Probenecid, a substance which can be used as a masking agent.

Orica-GreenEdge removed Impey from their Tour de France line-up this year as soon as the Australian team was notified that Impey had delivered a positive A and B sample in South Africa.

"While I never disputed the lab results and the finding, I was put in a very tough position of defending my case due to strict liability," Impey said on his website www.darylimpey.com.

"That being said, and after already having to go back five months to try to find out how this could have happened, I finally was able to prove that this was a case of cross-contamination and I was also cleared of any fault or negligence on my part."

He said it had been the hardest two months of his life and had caused him a huge financial loss.

"It has been tough on my whole family. But I was determined to show that I am clean and that I would never cheat to try get an advantage over my competitors. I am so relieved that this has now been proven."

Impey issued a statement on his personal website on Friday:

On Thursday 28th August 2014, I finally got the chance to prove my case against the allegation: That I had committed an anti-doping violation for a diuretic called Probenecid.
 
Whilst I never disputed the lab results and the finding, I was put in a very tough position of defending my case due to strict liability. That being said, and after already having to go back 5 months to try find out how this could have happened, I finally was able to prove that this was a case of cross-contamination and I was also cleared of any fault or negligence on my part.

It has been definitely the hardest two months of my life, it has been a huge financial loss and has been tough on my whole family. But I was determined to show that I am clean and that I would never cheat to try get an advantage over my competitors.  I am so relieved that this has now been proven. 

While I can now put this behind me and move on, I would like to thank my wife, my family, my team ORICA-GreenEDGE, friends and fans who sent me such kind messages during this tough time and I am thrilled that I could prove my innocence for all of you who stood by me. I would also like to thank my legal team Christopher Kok (Webber Wentzel), Ivan Miltz, Justin Bitter, Mike Morgan (Morgan Sports Law) and Chris Hattingh for their amazing help in resolving the matter.

I am hoping to return back to racing now, and hopefully compete before the World Championships in September. I re-iterate my stance against doping and I will continue to race clean throughout my career. Right now, I am just really happy that I can be a bike rider again and do what I love the most.

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