Australian cyclist Mark Roland has been suspended for two years for using human growth hormone, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) said today.

According to the AFP, the authority found that Roland used hGH on August 27 and December 5, 2003. He was also found to have used the anabolic steroid dehydroepiandrosterone on the same dates and on November 16, 2004.

Roland competed professionally with the 2003 Giant Asia Racing Team and won a criterium of the 2003 Southbank Grand Prix Cycling Classic on December 7, 2003 (two days after he apparently took the drug).

Strangely though, the ASADA said the sanction was significant because it relied on evidence obtained by its investigators rather than a positive test. The offences were committed during the eight-year statute of limitations period mandated in the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code.

As a result of the ban, Roland will forfeit all competition results from his first use of hGH on August 27, 2003 until he last competed on April 25, 2008. He will be eligible to return to sporting competition at midnight on April 24, 2010, ASADA said.

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