September 13, 2005 — National team mountain bike athlete Chris Sheppard was given a two-year suspension yesterday after he was found to have evidence of recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) in his system.
Mr. Sheppard was subject to an out-of-competition urine test at his home in Kamloops, BC, on May 29, 2005; the presence of rEPO in his A-sample was communicated to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport on June 15, and confirmed in his B-sample on July 4.
The matter was referred to the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre of Canada as provided for in the Canadian Anti-Doping Program rules, and the final decision of the arbitrator was handed down yesterday. In accordance with CCES and WADA rules, Mr. Sheppard was given the minimum two-year suspension for a first-time doping offence. In addition, he is now permanently ineligible to receive financial support from the federal government.
The Canadian Cycling Association is firm in its commitment to the fight against doping, and is satisfied the CCES and the SDRCC fulfilled their roles in an exemplary manner during this process.
“Every positive doping test is profoundly disappointing and has a negative effect on the image of cycling and elite sport in general,” said CCA High Performance Director Kris Westwood. “Canada enjoys a reputation for fair play in the international arena, and we must do our best to preserve our good image by catching and punishing doping offenders. If there is a silver lining to this incident, it is that the system works.”
For more information, please contact Kris Westwood at 613-248-1353 ext. 2607.