Latest News for September 5, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
Landuyt confesses, but no names yet
Oostrozebeke veterinarian Jose Landuyt has confessed that he has supplied
cyclists with hormones, after being arrested by police yesterday following
a search of 21 homes in the West Flanders area. The public prosecutor
in Kortrijk in charge of an investigation into drug dealing in cycling
and animal sports (horse and pigeon racing) has not revealed the names
of the cyclists, and will question Herman Versele, a soigneur from Merelbeke,
today over the affair.
Landuyt (49) has also worked as a doping control official in horse races,
and for the Federal Food Agency. He was immediately dismissed from the
Both Landuyt and Versele are acquainted with cyclists Johan Museeuw,
Chris Peers, Jo Planckaert, Mario De Clercq, Nico Hendrickx, and Olivier
Penney, whose houses were searched by police on Thursday morning. Various
products were seized from all the houses, including Museeuw's computer.
Those products of a medical nature are being analysed at the moment.
Museeuw was released on Thursday evening after nine hours of questioning
by police, but we was not arrested. The news that Museeuw was even targeted
rocked Belgium, with the first three pages of Het Nieuwsblad being devoted
to the story.
His team director Patrick Lefevere was quoted as saying "I have the
fullest confidence in Johan Museeuw until the opposite is proved. I'm
counting on an objective and calm investigation. I lived in Oostrozebeke
for 18 years. I know Landuyt as a supporter of Johan, who has accompanied
us as a driver in races a couple of times. He has never been in the service
of the team. We only employ professionals for that."
Chris Peers, who is currently riding in the Hessen Rundfahrt, heard
of the searches just 10 minutes before the start of stage 2. "I immediately
phoned my wife Krista," he said. "She told me that they had also come
in and searched the house, taking away everything that looked suspicious.
I respect the investigation, but I have nothing to hide."
Vandenbroucke investigation complete
The VDB affair in 2002
Photo: © AFP
Somewhat coincidentally, but unrelated to the house searches yesterday,
it has been reported that the investigation into the possession of doping
products by Frank Vandenbroucke has been completed. The case began in
February 2002 when Belgian police arrested VDB's occasional confidant
Bernard Sainz for speeding. After finding a number of suspicious products
in Sainz's car and learning that he had been in recent contact with Vandenbroucke,
police also searched Vandenbroucke's house and found a number of illegal
products there, including EPO, Morphine and Clenbuterol.
Sainz was cleared after the products found in his car were analysed
and declared to be legal. However the judge in Dendermonde opened a criminal
investigation into Vandenbroucke. It's expected that an announcement will
be made at the end of September regarding the case.
González ready for Vuelta defense
2002 winner Aitor Gonzalez
Photo: © Sirotti
As defending champion, Aitor González will pin on the number one dossard
in tomorrow's first stage of the Vuelta a España, a 30 km team time trial
in Gijon. The 28 year old rider won the race last year after crushing
Roberto Heras in the final time trial, donning the golden leader's jersey
only after the last stage in Madrid. This year his ambitions of winning
have been tempered by the fact that he has performed fairly anonymously
in the Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.
Gonzalez told Spanish magazine Meta 2Mil that winning isn't his main
objective. "My first aim is to recover the sensations that I had during
the 2002 Vuelta. Then we can start to think about winning."
"I see [the route] as being very balanced," he continued. "There are
two long time trials, but there are also seven mountain top finishes.
If a time trial specialist such as myself wishes to win this year's Vuelta,
he'll have to put in a good performance in the mountain stages."
Gonzalez pointed to 2001 winner Angel Casero (Bianchi) as the man to
watch this year. "I have a hunch that it will be Casero," he said. "I
was surprised during the Tour of Burgos to see that neither Sevilla nor
Heras were able to keep up with the best riders during the climb of Lagunas
de Neila, they are usually very quick at picking up form, but they still
have time to improve. I also saw that Casero was riding very well indeed.
It wasn't a case of him outperforming everybody else, but we cyclists
pick up on these things quickly and it was easy to see that he was going
well, very relaxed, and this makes me think that he's going to be the
man to beat."
Click here for Cyclingnews' full Vuelta
descriptions and start
list, with live coverage each day from 14:30 CEST/08:30 EDT/05:30
Quaranta and Mazzoleni move
Italians Ivan Quaranta (Saeco) and Eddy Mazzoleni (Vini Caldirola) are
on the move to new teams. Quaranta will ride for De Nardi-Colpack next
season, while Saeco will gain the services of Eddy Mazzoleni.
Nijs drops back
Cyclo-crosser Sven Nijs will follow his other off-road Rabobank teammates
to move from the Rabobank Division I to the Division III team next year.
Nijs did ride a road program with the top team this year, but decided
that he would prefer to concentrate on cyclo-cross.
Olympic cycling medal still in limbo
By Alan Messenger
It's 31 years since Kiwi cyclist Bruce Biddle crossed the line fourth
in the road race at the Munich Olympic Games and was subsequently promoted
to third when the Bronze medalist Jaime Huelame (Spain) failed a drugs
test. Although he was given the placing Biddle has never been awarded
the medal, apparently because he was not drug tested, a requirement in
those days for all medal winners.
The New Zealand Olympic Committee recently launched a bid to have the
medal awarded, pointing out that Biddle made himself available for testing
immediately after the race. A recent IOC Executive meeting discussed the
matter, but ruled that they could not overrule the rule of the day. The
New Zealand Olympic Committee is still awaiting a written confirmation
of the position.
NZ Olympic Committee spokesman Gordon Irving said that the 31 year old
issue was not completely closed but it appeared unlikely that Biddle would
ever receive a medal. "The IOC can't or won't overrule the International
Cycling Union rules of 1972," he said.
When IOC President Jacques Rogge was in New Zealand in December last
he told local cycling officials that he was optimistic that Biddle's case
was a strong one but he warned that it was rare for a medal to be awarded
Biddle now lives in Italy and was not available for comment.
Fiedler to Air Namibia International in S.A.
One of the world's top track riders, Jens Fiedler, has confirmed that
he will start in the Air Namibia International Four Day race at Bellville,
South Africa, from 11-14 December. Fiedler, together with his 13 German
teammates, arrive on November 26 for training and will remain in S.A.
until December 17. The strong German contingent are using the opportunity
to prepare for the Athens Olympics in 2004.
The Four Day Air Namibia event will feature national teams from Germany,
Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as an invitational world team, two
South African teams, plus two further possible teams from Greece and Great
There is also a possibility that a curtain-raiser event will be held
in Krugersdorp a week earlier to allow Highveld fans the opportunity to
see some world class racing.
TQ Paper Ladies 2 Day Cycle Race
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
The TQ Paper Ladies 2 Day Cycle Race has been organised by the Dublin
Wheelers Cycling Club for the past 11 years, and has matured in that time
to become a part of the international calendar, with support from the
Irish Sports Council. The current sponsor is TQ Papers from Baldoyle,
Co. Dublin, becoming involved in 1996.
According to Brian Carolan who is responsible for the entries, "This
year I have seen a marked improvement into the response to the entry forms.
We have a number of foreign teams coming. The winner for the last years,
Esther van der Helm from Holland has confirmed her participation. Hopefully,
she will not frighten off the opposition," said Brian.
The event gets under way during the first weekend of October.
Stage 1 - October 4: Santry Road Race, 64 km (8x8km laps)
Stage 2 - October 4: Santry ITT, 2 km
Stage 3 - October 5: Santry Road Race, 74 km
Further information can be had from Brian Carolan, the entries co-ordinator
at 111 Ballymun Road, Glasnevin, Dublin 9, or by phoning 01.8370590.
2002 Esther van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenewoud (NED)
2001 Esther van der Helm, Moving Ladies Groenewoud (NED)
2000 Julie Hooper, Women's Cycle Racing Association (UK)
1999 Louise Jones, Team Rudy Project (UK)
1998 Claire Moore, Irish Road Club
1997 Susan O'Mara, Dublin Wheelers CC
1996 Angela Hunter, New Brighton CC *first year of TQ Paper Sponsorship*
1995 Helena Kinsella Dublin Wheelers,
1994 Marie Purvis Isle of Man,
1993 Claire Moore, Traynors Solicitors,
1992 Claire Moore, Cidona Carrick.
Argus fills up quickly
One of the largest mass participation rides in the world, the Argus
Cycle Tour in Cape Town, South Africa, attracts a field of around 35,000
cyclists each year. It's becoming more popular than ever though, if the
response to the opening of online entries on September 1 is any indication.
"Last year the 32,000 online entries poured in over a record breaking
period of 33 days," said Ken Sturgeon, co-chairman of the Cycle Tour Management
Committee. "This year it took only 64 hours in total to fill all the online
Organisers will be verifying the entries over the next week, and there
are still postal entries available.
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