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“I've got nothing hide. I was tested but I was under the effects of a treatment with Andriol. My testosterone levels were low and I had erection problems, plus I had fertility problems. That's why I was prescribed Andriol”

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19.12.2014 @ 10:59 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Mauro Santambrogio has put his recent positive drug test for testosterone down to a drug prescribed by a urologist in order to help him become a father, after he was diagnosed with erectile and fertility problems.

 

He has been provisionally suspended, just two months after his 18 month EPO suspension ended. He had recently signed with Italian Pro Continental team Amore e Vita.

 

Santambrogio told Cyclingnews that he informed the anti-doping inspectors at the time of the test that he had recently completed a three-month course of Andriol (the product name for testosterone) and the prostrate drug Aprosten. He also claimed he informed UCI doctor Mario Zorzoli who originates from Como, close to Santambrogio's home.

 

He thought it would not be considered as a positive case because he was not a licence holder at the time of the test and had not yet even decided to return to racing after his ban. He only contacted Amore e Vita on October 28 and signed a contract two days later.

 

“I've got nothing hide. I was tested but I was under the effects of a treatment with Andriol. My testosterone levels were low and I had erection problems, plus I had fertility problems. That's why I was prescribed Andriol,” Santambrogio told Cyclingnews.

 

“I intended to make a comeback in 2015 in July, but I also wanted to think about my long-term future and have a child, like any normal person. That's why I started the treatment. If I'd decided to wait I could have had further problems and perhaps never become a father. I didn't have any offers from teams at the time and didn't know if I'd be able to race. I knew that at the earliest I'd race again in February and the testosterone would not have given me any benefit then.”

 

Santambrogio said he was surprised that the UCI took his case public, before he even had a chance to explain to them about what happened.

 

“Before they took my blood and urine I told them and showed them the prescription. They also took a photo of it. It was also written on the anti-doping forms that I'd been treated with Andriol,” Santambrogio claimed.

 

“Nobody has contacted me from the UCI before today. I don't understand why. I've got nothing to hide because I know that all the proof is on my side.”

 

Andriol is banned both in and out of competition by WADA, and the Italian rider couldn’t have used it for a UCI Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) either. Andriol may not have even have helped Santambrogio with his problems, as synthetic testosterone has the potential side effect of decreasing sperm production and sperm fertility problems.

 

“I'm going to try to prove that I didn't do anything wrong. But if the world of cycling refuses me to make a comeback, I'll accept their verdict. But I haven't wanted to cheat anybody. I was simply being treated for a problem and thinking about a future a father,” Santambrogio said.

 

Santambrogio told Cyclingnews that he won’t request a counter-analysis because he knows he had testosterone in his urine. The Amore e Vita team has also said it will support him in his bid to prove his innocence.

 

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