Filipina cyclist positive for doping in Asian Games

Ralph Edwin Villanueva - Philstar.com
Filipina cyclist positive for doping in Asian Games
Ariana Evangelista
Facebook / Ariana Evangelista

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipina cyclist who competed in the 19th Asian Games tested positive for prohibited substances, the International Testing Agency (ITA) announced Wednesday.

In a statement posted on its website, the ITA said that Ariana Evangelista, who competed for the Cycling Mountain Bike event in the ongoing Asiad in Hangzhou, China, tested positive for non-specified substance erythropoietin (EPO).

“The ITA… reports that a blood and a urine sample collected from cycling athlete Evangelista from the Philippines has returned Adverse Analytical Findings for the non-specified prohibited substance EPO according to the Prohibited List of the World Anti-Doping Agency,” the statement read.

According to the Cleveland Clinic on its website, erythropoietin is a hormone that helps maintain a healthy amount of red blood cells.

It added that it is sometimes used by athletes to “improperly boost their performance because EPO increases the availability of oxygen to their muscles.”

The ITA bared that the samples were collected on September 24.

With this, Evangelista was suspended immediately.

“She has the right to request the analysis of the B-sample,” the ITA said.

“The matter will thereafter be referred to the Anti-Doping Division of the Court of Arbitration for Sport for adjudication under the OCA Anti-Doping Rules,” it added.

Philstar.com has sought Evangelista’s comment on the matter through email, but no response has been given yet.

Four athletes, including the 27-year-old Evangelista, have been flagged for banned substances.

Boxer Mohammad Khaibar Nooristani of Afghanistan and track and field athlete Yousef Mohammed Alasiri of Saudi Arabia were earlier flagged after allegedly testing positive for banned substances.

Also on Wednesday, cyclist Aleksey Fomovskiy from Uzbekistan was also cited for allegedly testing positive for anabolic androgenic steroids.

Evangelista bagged a silver medal in the women’s mountain bike eliminator in the Southeast Asian Games in Cambodia last May.

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