Astarloza banned for doping offence, says will appeal
Paris: Mikel Astarloza has been suspended for two years following a positive test for the banned blood-booster erythropoietin (EPO), the Spanish rider said on Saturday.
"I want to publicly announce that I have received a letter from the RFEC (Spanish federation) notifying me that I am officially suspended until June 26, 2011 for having broken International Cycling Union (UCI) rules," he said on his website.
"I maintain that I have done nothing wrong... I will appeal this suspension to the relevant authorities," he added without elaborating further.
Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Astarloza tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO in an out-of-competition test collected last June and was provisionally suspended on July 31.
He won the 16th stage of last year`s Tour de France, finishing 11th overall.