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Meier ban upheld

Meier will stay off the cycling circuit till July Keystone Archive

Swiss professional cyclist Roland Meier has lost his appeal over a positive test for the banned hormone erythropoietin (EPO).

The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld a ruling this week to suspend Meier for eight months, after blood and urine samples tested positive in drug tests. However the Court has cut the fine in half, to SFr 2,000.

Meier tested positive to the presence of the banned EPO drug in April last year. Blood and urine samples confirmed the results as did follow-up tests. However the Swiss cyclist had appealed against the result and contested the national cycling federation’s penalty.

The 34-year-old is expected to remain off the cycling circuit until next July, as his suspension began in August last year and is only effective during the cycling season.

Meier was one of the first riders to face the EPO test, introduced in April of last year. He is the fifth Swiss professional cyclist to have been suspended for doping since 1998.

The EPO drug helps build endurance by boosting red blood cells. The substance is naturally found in the human body. However sports authorities have banned artificial EPO use, for health reasons. A positive test indicates that the level of EPO in the bloodstream is too high.

The sample analyses were performed by the International Olympic Committee accredited anti-doping control laboratory in Lausanne.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR