Horner's team seek redress for testing 'mistake'

Reuters
Horner of the U.S. celebrates on the podium after retaking the overall lead in 19th stage of the Vuelta, Tour of Spain, cycling race from San Vicente de la Barquera to Alto del Naranco
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Chris Horner of the U.S. celebrates on the podium after retaking the overall race lead in the 181-km …

MADRID (Reuters) - Tour of Spain winner Chris Horner's team will seek compensation from anti-doping authorities after news of an alleged missed random dope test was leaked to the media.

RadioShack said Spanish Anti-Doping Agency (AEPSAD) officials went to the wrong hotel looking for the American rider, despite having been given details of his correct whereabouts.

The team issued a statement with a screenshot of Horner's email to the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) in which he updated his whereabouts for Monday, the day after his triumph in the Spanish grand tour.

"Chris Horner updated his whereabouts with USADA before the start of the final stage, giving the agency the name of his hotel for the night, phone number and room number for his one-hour window between 6 and 7 a.m. This is all according to the rules and Chris Horner received a confirmation email," RadioShack said.

"The anti-doping inspectors from the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency that were asked to do the test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) showed up at the wrong hotel in Madrid, where the team was staying but Horner was obviously not to be found."

Riders are obliged to provide their whereabouts to anti-doping authorities, specifying their location for one hour each day.

Missing three tests within an 18-month period triggers an investigation.

"The team believes the communication between the Spanish Anti-Doping Agency and the media is a violation of the privacy of Chris Horner, especially since it comes down to a clear mistake by the tester," RadioShack added.

"The team asks the media to report correctly on this matter and will seek compensation for this matter with the responsible anti-doping agencies."

An AEPSAD spokesman said its agents had gone to the hotel address provided by the U.S. agency early on Monday.

They checked another hotel but Horner was not there either and AEPSAD did not know his current whereabouts, the spokesman added.

"We do not want to make any kind of judgment about whether this was a violation of the rules as we do not have all the facts," he said.

Horner, who turns 42 next month, became the oldest grand tour champion and the first U.S. winner of the Tour of Spain when he sealed victory on Sunday for the biggest win of his 19-year career.

(Reporting by Alasdair Fotheringham and Julien Pretot, editing by Clare Fallon)

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