4.5 Dr. Podraza, a clinical pharmacologist, testified that Oxymetholone is a Class III rated drug. This drug is not produced naturally in the body. While it cannot be obtained over the counter, it may be obtained over the Internet. ... He testified that the medicine [Oxymetholone] was originally developed for the treatment of anemia, some forms of breast cancer, and some wasting diseases, but that there are much more effective prescriptions for those conditions now. Oxymetholone has no pain killing benefit and is not prescribed for treatment of injuries. He indicated that it would benefit cyclists as it increases red blood cell production, increasing a rider's stamina and recovery time similar to EPO. ...
4.6 The Respondent [Fuentes] testified that on March 24, 2004, during one stage of the race [Redlands], he was involved in a crash and severely injured his shoulder. He was able to finish that stage, but was hampered by the injury. He testified that later that night he took some unknown medication that he had had in his possession for some time. This included
some pills in a black film canister that included some left over from an alleged prescription for a prior cycling injury. He could not recall what those pills were. The next day, March 25, 2004, he was unable to complete the race [dnf] due to the extreme pain. He was randomly selected for drug testing. He raced again on March 28 in the Criterium [amateur] and won that event.
After his positive test for steroids, Fuentes raced the entirety of 2004, without sanction, while his case went through the USADA bureaucratic machinery. During this time, Fuentes won and placed in a number of races - some with more than modest cash/merchandise prizelists.
Late in 2004, Fuentes' case was finally decided and he was given a 2-year suspension retroactive to the date of the test.
Meaning, even though Fuentes tested positive on March 25, 2004 for a performance enhancing anabolic steroid - he was not actually banned from racing until late November of '04. The entirety of the 2004 road season saw Fuentes free to race and collect prizes and money from cycling promoters. Fuentes will be allowed to race USACycling events on March 26, 2006.
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My personal opinion =