The national anti doping authority for Bermuda announced today that cyclist Damien Sharp received a two-year sanction for the use of erythropoietin (EPO) during an in competition event organised by the Bermuda Bicycle Association.
Mr. Sharp waived his right to a hearing, admitted his use of EPO and accepted the proposed sanction of two years ineligibility from sport commencing August 18, 2011 and ending at midnight on 17 August 2013. The sanction prevents Sharp from participating in any capacity in any competition or in any sport-related activity, including training with teammates, authorized or organized by any organization that is a signatory to the World Anti Doping Code.
“It is very disappointing when we find that an athlete has cheated,” said Cathy Belvedere, Executive Director “However, it is even more disconcerting when we find out that the substance is as dangerous and sophisticated as EPO. This high risk substance with dangerous affects on the human body was being used by an athlete competing in a mid level local competition. ”
Mrs. Belvedere went on to say. “We can confirm that the test was conducted in cooperation with UK Anti Doping and USADA, the US anti-doping agency. A clear demonstration that anti-doping organisations worldwide, can and do work together. Increasingly, globally, dopers have nowhere to hide. ”
Mrs. Belvedere added: “This case highlights the importance of cooperation between National Anti Doping Organisations and how information sharing can be used to successfully identify and ultimately bring sanctions to doping athletes. There will be efforts in the very near future to establish protocols and procedures with our local interdiction agencies to ensure that our collection of information and the ability to share is reciprocal globally.”
EPO, a prohibited substance on the World Anti Doping 2011 Prohibited List, is a peptide hormone that is produced naturally by the human body. It is released from the kidneys and acts on the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production. An increase in red blood cells improves the amount of oxygen that the blood can carry to the body’s muscles. It may also increase the body’s capacity to buffer lactic acid.
The Bermuda Sport Anti Doping Authority is an independent, not-for profit organization. We are committed to prevent, detect and deter the use of illicit drugs and banned doping practices by delivering education and testing services to the Bermuda Sporting Community. We recognize that a well educated drug free sporting community that inspires disciplined, honest and committed athletes, can contribute to the well being of our island home.