Gabriel Evans: British teenager gets three-and-a-half-year ban over EPO use

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Gabriel Evans' ban was reduced by six months due to his "relative immaturity" at the time of the offence.

Teenage British cyclist Gabriel Evans has been given a three-and-a-half year ban for doping.

Evans, 19, was suspended last year after admitting to his use of EPO and cannot compete again until April 2019.

UK Anti-Doping chief Nicole Sapstead said Evans had acted "intentionally" but because of his "immaturity" the ban was reduced by six months.

"Everybody's motivations are different. Some do it for money, some to win, some because they are curious," she added.

"Here is a young man at the start of his sporting career whose decision to cheat has significantly impacted that career before it has really begun.

"Evans clearly acted intentionally when he decided to purchase and use EPO.

EPO, or erythropoietin, is used commonly to boost the production of red blood cells and encourage more oxygen flow in the body.

Evans, in an interview in December last year, said his use of EPO had been partly a result of curiosity from watching the BBC Panorama programme Catch Me If You Can, which explored the world of doping.

Around the same time, and writing in a separate statement on a cycling forum, the London-based rider also claimed he first bought EPO on 3 August 2015 before a training camp in France.

He said he only raced once after taking EPO, on 5 September 2015 when he finished first in the British National Junior 10-mile time trial - a title he forfeited.

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