March 27, 2008
It’s too early to say if this is champ or chump. Haematocrit is a funny thing – it varies, like everything in life. It varies between individuals and it varies day to day. My own levels have generally varied from 46 to 48%. Some people just have higher values, even approaching 50%. It’s just the way biological things work. But high reading s can also point to doping. So when a rider returns an HC above an unusually high – statistically – 50% it’s “for your own safety” that you are taken away from cycling for a while and “assessed”.
From CN: Early in the day it was announced that Hayles and Dutchman Pim Ligthart had both returned blood values above the permitted 50% level, with Hayles reportedly clocking in at 50.3%. As per UCI rules, both were immediately suspended for two weeks and will undergo further testing to determine the reason for their readings.