Famous Brazilian gran fondo rider Antonio "Pippo" Garnero has been caught using EPO during HR Alpe d’Huez. He has immediately confessed and has been expelled with immediate effect from the Haute Route Alpes where he was third in the general classification until today. He won one of the stages.
His positive check is not an isolated case. Previously, CycloWorld disclosed that Garnero missed a doping control after the GF Mont Ventoux. At the time, he was not caught doping. He confessed to missing the test, but denied doping.
Today Haute Route came out with the statement below.
Source: Instagram Haute Route.
According to sources, his positive test came from the Haute Route Alpe d’Huez from this year, which he won.
Not long after, Garnero himself came out with the following statement on his Strava account:
"Friends, I was notified by the AFLD who reported my provisional suspension from all competitive activity due to an unfavorable analytical result for erythropoietin (EPO), a drug used to treat anemia, among other things. Although the behavior was unjustifiable, I spoke out openly, even to prevent the mistake from being repeated by another athlete. At the end of last year, I retired professionally at the age of 38, having reached the pinnacle of national cycling, in perhaps one of the toughest sports physically and mentally.
Early this year, however, I decided to return to competition - this time exclusively amateur - at altitude. During my preparation, I had sensations that seemed to indicate a possible pre-anemic condition, confirmed by past tests. Hastily and thoughtlessly, in an act of desperation, I resorted to medication to try to raise my blood levels to the reference parameters. It was the first and only time I used the hormone, a fact proven by the countless exams already passed in my career. In that state, I shouldn't have even thought about competing. I was wrong. I didn't weigh it correctly. My apologies. I accept the interpretation and punishments assigned to me. Now I have only one way to go: keep going. Keeping myself on two wheels, taking care of my work and my family."
Source: Strava account Pipo Garnero (Google Translate translation)