An amateur cyclist already serving a four-year ban for an anti-doping rule violation has been handed a second ban of the same length after his sample was retested following a tip-off and found to contain EPO.
Former national 12-hour time trial champion Robin Townsend, aged 47, tested positive for the banned stimulant modafinil in September 2015 after finishing ninth at the Burton and District Cycling Alliance 100 Miles event organised under Cycling Time Trials rules.
He claimed that his drink had been spiked by a rival, but in January this year, UK Anti-Doping (UKAD) announced that he had been banned from all sport for four years, with his suspension running from 8 October 2016 to 7 October 2019.
The sanction had been imposed by a written decision of the UKAD’s Anti-Doping Tribunal on 22 December 2015, following a hearing on 1 December 2015.
In between those dates, based on intelligence it had received, on 8 December 2015 UKAD asked the World-Anti Doping Agency (WADA) accredited laboratory at Kings College London, where the samples were stored, to retest the A sample for EPO, resulting in an adverse analytical finding of the banned blood booster.
According to the full decision published on 3 October 2016, Townsend’s representatives say he “vehemently” denied taking EPO and had “absolutely no idea how such a prohibited substance could have been present in the sample.”
Townsend, who did not attend the hearing on the EPO charge either in person or by telephone and did not seek a retest of the B sample, was handed another four-year ban which will run concurrently with his original ban, given the same samples were involved in both instances.
Pat Myhill, director of operations at UKAD, commented: “The receipt and use of information and intelligence is critical to delivering an effective anti-doping programme.
“In the case of Robin Townsend, we received intelligence, which we assessed and acted upon by undertaking additional analysis of the original sample. This has resulted in a further adverse analytical finding.
“We encourage anyone with information about doping to come forward and speak to us,” he added.
“No matter how small the piece of information is, you can help shape what we do by talking to us in confidence via reportdoping.com,” he added.
Simon joined road.cc as news editor in 2009 and is now the site’s community editor, acting as a link between the team producing the content and our readers. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, he has reported on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, the latest developments in the bike industry and the sport’s biggest races. Now back in London full-time after 15 years living in Oxford and Cambridge, he loves cycling along the Thames but misses having his former riding buddy, Elodie the miniature schnauzer, in the basket in front of him.