Gonzalo Calisto of Ecuador, the fifth-place finisher in the 2015 Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc, has been disqualified from that race after a test came up positive for a banned performance-enhancing substance, according to a press release issued earlier today by the race.
The test was conducted on August 29, 2015, at the UTMB finish line, the press release said. The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) list of prohibited athletes gives the reason for Calisto’s ban as the hormone EPO, which can increase red-blood-cell production. Calisto will be barred from competition until March 17, 2017.
UTMB, a 170K race in the Alps that passes through France, Switzerland and Italy, is arguably the most high-profile and competitive trail ultra on the world circuit. It is one of the few trail races that tests for performance-enhancing drugs. According to rules published on the race’s website, “Any competitor can be submitted to an anti-drug control before, during or at the end of a race.”
Calisto’s 2015 result will be voided, and he has been asked to return his trophy and finisher’s jacket.
We reached out to Calisto and to UTMB for comment earlier today, but have yet to hear back. We’ll have more on this story as it unfolds.