Cycling News Flash for August 29, 2004
Edited by Chris Henry
Calle positive in women's points race
Bronze for Mirabella
Colombian Maria Luisa Calle Williams, awarded the bronze medal in the women's points race in Athens, has tested positive for a banned stimulant. Calle claimed she was unaware that the stimulant figured among the ingredients in a supplement she used, however she is expected to be stripped of her medal by the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Calle becomes the sixth athlete to lose a medal after a positive doping test.
With Calle's disqualification, fourth place finisher American Erin Mirabella is expected to be awarded the bronze medal instead.
"That was easily the hardest race I've ever done," Mirabella had commented after the points race. "It was hard, but I was thrilled. I've never placed better than sixth at the World's or the Olympics. I wanted a medal... I was close, but I'm still happy."
With bronze seemingly on the way, Mirabella should be considerably happier. Hers would be the only medal for the USA in the track competitions, adding to gold, silver and bronze earned by Tyler Hamilton, Dede Demet-Barry and Bobby Julich in the time trial.
Rogge has faith
Olympic chief Jacques Rogge has said the record number of drug cheats unmasked at the Athens Games is proof that the hardline approach is working. So far a total of 23 athletes - including two gold medal winners - have been excluded from the Olympics for doping offenses.
Rogge has warned the figure could rise as more sophisticated tests are developed to detect the latest designer drugs concocted by the cheaters' laboratories.
Thousands of samples from drug tests on athletes in Athens will now be stored in deep freeze and re-examined at a later date as new anti-doping technology develops.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)