Impey cleared of doping

Cyclist Daryl Impey was cleared of doping charges at a hearing in Johannesburg.

Cyclist Daryl Impey was cleared of doping charges at a hearing in Johannesburg. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Cyclist Daryl Impey has told The Star newspaper that he was cleared of doping charges at a hearing in Johannesburg yesterday and that as a result of the South African Institute Drug-fee Sports (SAIDS) not resolving his case expeditiously he's lost out on millions of rands.

In 2013, Impey became the first South African to wear the yellow jersey at the Tour de France, but was found guilty of failing a doping control at the SA Road Champs in February this year, testing positive for the banned diuretic Probenecid.

Impey says that he presented the hearing with "hard facts, actual proof" that he never doped saying, "It's just utter relief, justice has been done. I would never dope."

The hearing heard that a pharmacist in Durban might have inadvertently contaminated a legal product he was giving to Impey.

With him missing out on riding for his team Orica Greenedge at this year's Tour de France as well as the Vuelta a Espana, Impey's called the delay "inexcusable" and highlighting his financial loss.

"The amount of money that I have lost is hard to quantify. It's a huge loss of income. There have been huge repercussions for my family and me."

The newspaper reports that Impey and his lawyers are now considering possible legal action against the SAIDS.

SAIDS CEO Khalid Galant explained the reasons behind the delay, "We had an unforeseen death in the laboratory. This added to the delay in processing the sample. When a sample tests positive we have to go through a review process in terms of making sure it is a true positive so that also adds another three to four weeks."

Galant went on to say, "Athlete's must take responsibility for purchasing a product or the processes that he or she goes through. We have to discharge our mandate and when we get a positive we have to charge the athlete. We can't cover it up or do our own investigation."

Galant told EWN SAIDS cannot apologise for doing its job.

"We understand when we charge an athlete there is a perception and accusation that happens. We have to do this, it's the rule of sport. The athlete is cleared and we acknowledge that he did not commit a doping offence."