Irish Sprinter Banned for Two Years

Irish Sprinter, Steven Colvert has been banned from athletics for two years after testing positive for recombinant erythropoietin (EPO).

The ban, which has been backdated to Colvert’s provisional suspension, starting on 17 June 2014 will mean that Colvert won’t be eligible to compete until at least June 2016.

EPO, which has been banned as a performance enhancing substance since the early 1990s is often used by endurance athletes such as cyclists and long-distance runners. EPO is known to boost red blood cell count which in turn allows the blood to carry more oxygen to the body’s muscles.

Colvert, the former Irish 200m champion has protested his innocence since the doping scandal broke, and he took to Twitter this week to confirm this position.

Today is a sad day. After spending the last year trying to clear my name of the doping allegations, a decision has been made.Unfortunately the panel has found me guilty of doping. Something I have always been strongly against and will continue to stand against. Miscarriages of justice come in many forms, unfortunately this time it has involved me.

Colvert’s EPO doping allegation spans from an out of competition test, carried out on 20th May 2014 where the Irish athlete tested positive to the banned substance.

Speaking in a statement surrounding the findings, the Irish Sports Council said:

Athletics Ireland and the Irish Sports Council jointly announce that the Irish Sport Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel determined that athlete Steven Colvert has committed an anti-doping rule violation.

Steven Colvert will be allowed to appeal the decision for up to 21-days of the ruling date, under Irish Anti-Doping Rules.

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