Former Armstrong teammate David George tests positive for EPO
Thousands of cyclists, including Lance Armstrong, begin the Cape Argus Cycling race in Cape Town, South Africa in this 2010 file photo. (AP / Schalk van Zuydam)
The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, November 6, 2012 9:45AM EST
CAPE TOWN, South Africa -- Cyclist David George, a former teammate of Lance Armstrong, has tested positive for blood-boosting EPO, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport said on Tuesday.
George failed an out-of-competition doping test on Aug. 29 and was provisionally suspended by Cycling South Africa ahead of an independent tribunal.
George cycled on Armstrong's U.S. Postal Service team in 1999 and 2000 and is one of South Africa's top cyclists having won the South African time trial championships five times and road race championships in 2003.
Armstrong was last month banned for life for doping by the International Cycling Union and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, wiping out the career of one of cycling's most celebrated riders.
As well as his time with US Postal, George won silver in the road race at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne and bronze in the time trial in the Kuala Lumpur Games in 1998. He also represented South Africa at two Olympics, in 1996 and 2000.
"His biological passport indicated suspicious activity and that triggered a targeted test for EPO," SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant said. "A subsequent urine test came back positive for the banned EPO drug."
EPO, or Erythropoietin, artificially increases the red blood cell count and increases an athlete's oxygen carrying capacity.
William Newman, the president of Cycling South Africa, said doping was "not endemic" in South African cycling despite the sport's battered international image.