HE became the oldest man to ever win the Tour of Spain.
But organisers were horrified to discover that Chris Horner, the American winner of the ‘Vuelta’ had literally disappeared just hours after his victory.
It came as Spanish doping authorities arrived at his Madrid hotel on Sunday to test him for banned substances.
The 41-year-old had only just been crowned the winner of the tour, after the final stage of the month-long race in the capital.
It has since emerged, that the request to test him had actually come from the US anti-doping agency, however when officials from the Spanish cycling federation arrived at the Hotel Ciudad de Mostoles, he and his wife had apparently left. Neither his team mates nor his manager could account for his whereabouts.
A team doctor said he was in a different hotel closer to the airport, but when officials arrived he was not there.
As the Olive Press went to press, he had still not been located, despite being due to arrive in his home town in Oregan, USA, on Monday.
In an email Horner had written to the authorities, he had made clear his movements. The note, released to the press, read: “Hello. The Vuelta finished today, September 15 in Madrid, and I will fly back to my home in Bend, Oregan on the 16th. I will be staying at the Hotel Ciudad de Mostoles, room 314. I will be locatable there between six and seven in the morning.”
It is not known whether the US body will continue its pursuit once Horner is back on home soil. The debacle is the latest scandal to rock the sport, with Lance Armstrong recently banned for life for taking drugs and numerous other cyclists under suspicion or banned.
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..from sky news 2 days ago
Chris Horner has been cleared of missing a drugs test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (Usada) after Spanish anti-doping authorities turned up at the wrong hotel to carry out a test on Monday.
The 41-year-old American became the oldest winner of a Grand Tour after winning the Vuelta a Espana in Madrid on Sunday.
Usada had asked Spanish authorities to carry out the test on their behalf, but were surprised to find that Horner was not at the same hotel as the majority of his RadioShack-Leopard team.
But RadioShack-Leopard claimed Usada had been informed about the change to accommodation arrangements and the agency has since corroborated the story, absolving Horner of any blame.
A Usada stement read: “In response to public statements from Team RadioShack today concerning Chris Horner, Usada can confirm that we were co-ordinating an out-of-competition test with the Agencia Española de Protección de la Salud en el Deporte (AEA) while Mr Horner was in Spain.
“Mr Horner properly updated his whereabouts information in advance of the test attempt, but given that the information was received in the United States, the AEA doping control officer on the ground in Spain did not receive the updated information prior to arriving at the hotel.
“This is not considered a missed test and neither anti-doping organisation provided information to the media regarding this situation.”
Cleared of missing the test. However…………..
It was the way this ‘old man’ stormed away to win the Vuelta that stinks to high heaven – too good to be true.
If, as he must have realised that it was standard procedure to test all the top finishers – why did’nt he leave a sample – the smell of rotten fish comes to mind.