RADIOSHACK LEOPARD TREK have defended Christopher Horner’s failure to attend a doping test following his Vuelta a Espana victory.
Horner became the oldest winner of a Grand Tour race on Sunday at the age of 41 after edging an engaging battle with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
He finished 37 seconds ahead of the 2010 winner but it has subsequently been revealed that the American missed a routine drug test in the aftermath of his win.
RadioShack Leopard Trek immediately dismissed suggestions that Horner had intentionally avoided the test, instead blaming the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) for failing to correctly take note of a change to the cyclist’s whereabouts.
Cyclists must inform anti-doping agencies of their planned movements through the use of the World Anti-Doping Authority Anti-Doping Administration and Management System (ADAMS).
RadioShack Leopard Trek insist that Horner used the system correctly and that the mistake was down to the drug agencies.
A statement released by the team said: “The management of RadioShack Leopard Trek wants to clarify the situation about the alleged missed out-of-competition anti-doping test of Chris Horner.
“Chris Horner updated his whereabouts with USADA before the start of the final stage, giving the agency the name of his hotel for the night, phone number and room number for his one hour window (for testing) between 6 and 7 AM (local time).
“This is all according to the rules and Chris Horner received a confirmation email. The anti-doping inspectors from the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency that were asked to do the test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) showed up at the wrong hotel in Madrid, where the team was staying but Horner was obviously not to be found.”
In the statement, RadioShack Leopard Trek included screenshots of the email apparently sent by Horner to USADA, which contained information of his location, while an automatic response appearing to be from the drug agency was also visible in the release.
The team are believed to be furious that information of the missed test has been revealed to the press and have vowed to take action against those responsible.
“The team believes the communication between the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency and the media is a violation of the privacy of Chris Horner, especially since it comes down to a clear mistake by the tester,” the statement continued.
“The team…will seek compensation for this matter with the responsible anti-doping agencies.”