The Absa Cape Epic, the most televised mountain bike stage race in the world, has announced that it will tighten its rules regarding anti-doping by introducing a lifetime ban for future offenders in the wake of the first high-profile doping case in South African mountain biking.
In November, the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport (SAIDS) announced that top cyclist and Absa Cape Epic contender, David George, tested positive for the banned drug, EPO (Erythropoietin) and would face a charge of doping at an independent tribunal. George has officially been given a two-year ban, prohibiting him from cycling professionally for this time period. SAIDS indicated that only results dating back to 29 August this year can be erased, thus George’s 2012 Absa Cape Epic results will remain unaffected. With his riding partner Kevin Evans, George finished in second place overall in this year’s Absa Cape Epic, his best performance in the event to date. George has also won the Absa African Jersey at the Absa Cape Epic three times (2008, 2009, and 2012) and, together with Evans, was a strong contender to be the first all South African team to win the race next year.