Predictably, Daryl Impey, the first South African to wear the yellow jersey on the Tour de France, is singing a similar tune, claiming he’s always “raced clean”.
His former training partner, South African Robbie Hunter, has chimed in, citing reasons why his friend can’t possibly be a doper: he recently signed up for three more years with the ORICA-GreenEDGE team and was set to compete in this year’s Tour de France. Impey was set up for the future. Hunter questioned why Impey would risk all that.
Why indeed? Unfortunately it’s not a good enough defence. You could argue this is also part of why he would want to use a performance enhancer. Impey also can’t claim he did not know what he was ingesting. Anti-doping rules make it clear that athletes are responsible for what goes into their bodies.
It is extremely difficult to be exonerated after both your A and B samples test positive.
Impey’s results are sad news for South Africa and for a sport utterly tarnished by drug cheats. We’d like to believe him, but the signs are not good.