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EWS Racer Martin Maes Faces 90-Day Doping Suspension

The Enduro World Series has issued a statement that current leader Martin Maes failed doping tests at the Round 1 and Round 2 races this year. Maes won both the Rotorua and Tasmania races. According to the report, there was a high level of Probenecid in his test samples from these races. Probenecid is on the UCI’s List of Prohibited Substances and Methods, considered a diuretic or masking agent. The Probenecid and a related antibiotic were prescribed by an official race doctor at the New Zealand Enduro to help treat a serious infection in Martin’s leg he sustained after a crash. Maes faces a 90-day suspension from UCI races.

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At the Rotorua race, Maes was treated by an on-site race doctor for a lower leg laceration that developed a severe infection. Dr. Tom Jerram, the race doctor, said the following:

Martin sustained a lower leg laceration which developed a serious infection while racing the New Zealand Enduro (March 8-10, 2019). The infection was worsening despite standard doses of antibiotics, and it had the potential to become life-threatening. The doctors at the New Zealand Enduro elected to add Probenecid, which is commonly used to boost blood levels of penicillin-type antibiotics, and it was effective in treating Martin’s infection. It is a common part of all of our practices to use this medicine in the setting of serious infection. At the time, neither the volunteer medical team nor Martin considered that Probenecid would be on the banned substance list. It has no performance enhancing effects, and in fact, Martin’s performance was likely to have been impaired in the weeks following due to the severity of the infection

- Dr. Tom Jerram MBChB (Hons) FACEM Emergency Physician and Volunteer Medical Director of the New Zealand Enduro.

According to GT Factory Racing, Maes received notice from the UCI of an Adverse Analytic Finding (positive test) on May 21, 2019, and promptly filed for a Therapeutic Use Exemption. This was denied, even though the committee recognized the drug was purely used for medical reasons and is not considered a performance enhacing drug.

Last season, racers Richie Rude and Jared Graves faced eight-month bans after testing positive for the prohibited substances Higenamine and Oxilofrine. Their suspensions expired last week, and Rude will race at the next EWS race in Canazei, Italy. Graves is currently recovering from a bout with brain cancer and will not race until fully healthy. 

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