April 4, 2011
USADA announced today that a three-member panel of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) based in Lausanne, Switzerland, rendered its decision in the appeal, filed by cyclist Alberto Blanco, that sought to challenge the earlier American Arbitration Association (AAA) award finding that Blanco committed an anti-doping rule violation.
The CAS Panel confirmed the AAA panel’s ruling, and dismissed Blanco’s appeal. Blanco’s two year suspension will stand.
Blanco, 29, of San Mateo, California, provided a urine sample on December 15, 2008, after completing the second stage of the Tour of the South China Sea competition held December 14-21, 2008. The WADA-accredited laboratory at Beijing, China analyzed Blanco’s sample. The sample resulted in an Adverse Analytical Finding for testosterone or its precursors, which are prohibited in the class of Anabolic Agents on the World Anti-Doping Agency Prohibited List, which has been adopted by the USADA Protocol for Olympic and Paralympic Movement Testing and the rules of the International Cycling Union (UCI).
The CAS panel found the laboratory’s results to be reliable, and sustained the AAA panel’s findings, with respect to the fact that Blanco committed an anti-doping rule violation. Blanco’s two-year period of ineligibility began December 15, 2008, the day of his positive test. As a result of the doping violation, Blanco has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved at and subsequent to the 2008 Tour of the South China Sea competition, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.
In an effort to aid athletes, as well as all support team members such as parents and coaches, in understanding the rules applicable to them, USADA provides comprehensive instruction on its website on the testing process and prohibited substances, how to obtain permission to use a necessary medication, and the risks and dangers of taking supplements as well as performance-enhancing and psychoactive drugs. In addition, the agency manages a drug reference hotline, Drug Reference Online (www.GlobalDRO.com), conducts educational sessions with National Governing Bodies and their athletes, and proactively distributes a multitude of educational materials, such as the Prohibited List, easy-reference wallet cards, periodic newsletters, and protocol and policy reference documentation.
USADA is responsible for the testing and results management process for athletes in the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement, and is equally dedicated to preserving the integrity of sport through research initiatives and educational programs