(Reuters) - British cyclist Gabriel Evans has been handed a three-and-a-half year suspension for using banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO), UK Anti-Doping said on Thursday.

The British junior national champion, who won the national junior 10-mile time trial in September but was subsequently stripped of the title, admitted to using the performance-enhancing drug in December.

"Here is a young man at the start of his sporting career whose decision to intentionally cheat has significantly impacted that career before it has really begun," UKAD's chief executive Nicole Sapstead said.

"Evans clearly acted intentionally when he decided to purchase and use EPO. However, doping is not a straightforward decision and every person's motivations are different. Some do it for money, some do it to win."

The 19-year-old has been banned from all competitions from October 2015 to April 2019.

(Reporting by Ian Rodricks in Bengaluru; editing by Clare Lovell)