The U23 podium in Tabor, with Kacper and Pawel Szczepaniak, Arnaud Jouffroy © Bart Hazen
The Polish brothers Kacper and Pawel Szczepaniak were found to be positive for EPO at the UCI World Cyclocross Championships in Tabor, Czech Republic on January 31. Pawel, 20, came away with the Espoir World Championship title, winning with a 20 second gap over the younger Kacper, 19, in second place. Pending a review and confirmation of the tests, the brothers may be stripped of their medals, which would move France’s Arnaud Jouffroy into the gold medal position, Belgium’s Tom Meeusen into second, and Poland’s Marek Konwa into third.
The brothers recently signed contracts with Telenet-Fidea, which will likely be rescinded in the near future. Pawel also captured the silver medal in this past season’s European Cyclocross Championship. The brothers were specifically targeted for blood testing by the UCI because of suspicious results from previous tests.
“The abnormal results came directly from the urine tests conducted after the race,” said the UCI. “Blood samples collected before the event of Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak have also previously shown, under the biological passport, the blood profile of these two racers was doubtful.”
Stay tuned as this story develops.
Full UCI press release below:
The UCI advised the Polish riders Pawel Szczepaniak and Kacper Szczepaniak that they are provisionally suspended. The decisions to provisionally suspend Messrs Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak were made in response to reports from the WADA accredited laboratory in Seibersdorf indicating two Adverse Analytical Findings of Recombinant EPO in the urine samples collected from them at the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships, which took place in Tabor, the Czech Republic, on January 30th and 31st.
These adverse findings were a direct result of a targeted urine test conducted after the Under-23 race in which P. and K. Szczepaniak finished respectively first and second.
The blood samples collected before the event from P. and K. Szczepaniak had already shown, within the biological passport programme, that the blood profiles of these two riders were suspect.
The provisional suspensions remain in force until a hearing panel convened by the Polish Cycling Federation determines whether Mssrs P. and K. Szczepaniak have committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.
Mssrs P. and K. Szczepaniak have the right to request and attend the analyses of their B samples.
Under the World Anti-Doping Code and the UCI Anti-Doping Rules, the UCI is unable to provide any additional information at this time.