Cyclist faces ban

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

Mcelwa Nchabeleng

BEIJING - Prominent Spanish cyclist Maria Isabel Moreno faces a two-year ban after testing positive for a banned substance.

It was confirmed by the International Olympic Committee that Moreno used EPO, or Erythropoietin, following a July 31 out-of-competition test.

EPO is a blood- enhancing drug.

Giselle Davies, IOC communications manager, confirmed at a media briefing in Beijing yesterday that Moreno has been withdrawn from the Olympics.

The 27-year-old Moreno had already left the Athletes Village, even before the results could be made public.

"Our board has ruled that the athlete should be not be part of the Olympic Games because of this reason," said Davies.

This is the first doping case that has hit the Beijing Olympics since the competition started in the Chinese capital last week.

Moreno's case has shocked many athletes who are part of the ongoing Olympics, and are worried about who the next participant to be shamed for using drugs will be.

At the opening ceremony on Friday night, IOC president Jacques Rogge pleaded with the athletes to stop using drugs.