• Vuelta a Espana

Horner exonerated over missed drugs test

ESPN staff
September 17, 2013
Chris Horner's Vuelta a Espana victory made him the oldest Grand Tour winner at the age of 41 © Getty Images

American cyclist Chris Horner has been cleared of missing a drugs test after Spanish anti-doping authorities turned up at the wrong hotel on Monday, the United States Anti-Doping Agency has confirmed.

A USADA statement said Horner, who on Sunday became the oldest Grand Tour winner at the age of 41 with his Vuelta a Espana victory, had provided an update on his whereabouts on Monday in advance. However as the information had been emailed to the US, an anti-doping control officer in Spain was not informed of the change.

Acting on USADA's instructions, Spain's anti-doping agency tried to perform a routine test on Horner early on Monday, only to find the rider was not at the address they had originally been given.

"This is not considered a missed test," USADA's statement said.

The RadioShack-Leopard racer had spent the night at a different hotel than the rest of his team.

After the agency's failed visit, Horner's team released a statement saying the rider had updated his whereabouts with USADA correctly, giving the name of his hotel for the night.

The team included a screenshot of the email reply from USADA which said, "Your update has been received."

However, USADA's email also said Horner's communication had been received by an automated computer mail system.

The Spanish agency said it was normal for anti-doping agencies such as USADA to request tests be performed for them by counterpart organisations in other countries.

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