The world of cycling was hit by another doping scandal on Tuesday when French rider Lloyd Mondory was revealed to have tested positive for EPO, the International Cycling Union (UCI) have announced.
Mondory, 32, of the AG2R La Mondiale team, who has twice taken part in the Tour de France, returned a positive test for the performance-enhancing blood booster on February 17.
“I’m ashamed, I’m ashamed, I’m ashamed,” said AG2R manager Vincent Lavenu. “I feel a sense of betrayal, he’s been with us for 12 years and now the team’s reputation will be tarnished,” he added, after the second stage of the Paris-Nice race finished at Saint-Amand-Montrond.
Mondory turned professional in 2004 and has spent his entire career at AG2R, winning the French Cup in 2006, and riding in the Tour de France in 2009 and 2010.
Two days before the positive test, Mondory finished seventh in the Clasica Almeria race and recently had his contract extended until 2016.
“I cannot handle this, there has been too much work and too much investment. My life is cycling and when the UCI contact us, it is always shameful (to receive this kind of information),” continued Lavenu. He (Mondory) was in tears but his explanation doesn’t convince me. I hope he has the courage to tell the truth and not hide behind false excuses.” added Lavenu.
Mondory is the first top level French cyclist, since team-mate Steve Houanard in 2012, to test positive for EPO.
The team also face suspension over the charges and are in danger of having their participation in this year’s Tour de France participation called into question.