Richardsons-Trek, the cycling team of Andrew Hastings handed a four-year ban by UKAD for taking anabolic steroids, has issued a statement on Thursday evening.
This statement was made to confirm that the team was “hugely disappointed” and “let down” by his positive dope test that was announced by UK Anti-Doping. The statement revealed Hastings was suspended in June by the squad while the doping was being investigated. It was also disclosed by Richardsons-Trek that membership of Hastings of the team has now been terminated.
Hastings, the British Masters champion, tested positive for Metenolone and Stanozolol from his sample taken at the team time trial championships on May 30, a day before he took the British Masters title (age 35-39).
The Richardsons-Trek statement said we, as an amateur team, have limited control over the actions of individuals and rely on trust that our riders will maintain the high standards that are expected of them as athletes both on and off the bike. The statement added we all feel hugely disappointed by the decisions that Andrew made which have led to this situation and added that his actions have let down the team, our sponsors, as well as our supporters and his former teammates, especially George Wood and Rhys Howells, with whom he rode the National TTT. The statement also outlined the explanations provided by the cyclist to explain how the banned substances entered his system. It was also disclosed that the positive test results unfortunately casts a shadow over all of the team’s hard work and what has otherwise been a very successful season for the rest of the team.
The statement also said Andrew cannot account for the presence of these substances in his urine sample, however he advised UKAD that he believes the positive test was a result of a contaminated vitamin or protein recovery supplement brought from an online retailer. Hastings provided completely different to his team and during the UK Anti-Doping's deposition where he testified that the contamination had arisen from a used syringe that he had borrowed to inject vitamin B12 after a gym training session.
The team said the responsibility, irrespective of how these substances came to be in his sample, in line with UKAD advice to competitors, lies with the athlete to ensure that any products being used do not contain substances listed on the WADA banned list and there are no excuses for not following these guidelines. It was concluded by the statement that we as a team that actively encourages the development of young riders are committed to and believe in a clean sport and we fully support the National Anti-Doping Panel and the decision they have made as well as the continued work that UK Anti-Doping do to keep our sport clean. The statement also said we are extremely fortunate as a team to have very supportive sponsors who have faith in the team and its members and we thank them for their backing and personal support. It was also remarked that belief and continued backing of the supportive sponsors and desire to provide a platform for young aspiring riders has helped the team maintain focus and continue looking towards the future