Latest Cycling News for October 3, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
HLN reveals Landuyt case dossiers
The Belgian Newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws has published official court documents relating to the cases against former World Champion Johan Museeuw and triple world champion Mario De Clercq, among others. Later this month, it will be decided whether the charges against both cycling stars have enough basis to be brought before the Belgian Courts.
Not only have Museeuw and De Clercq been entangled in the doping affair surrounding veterinarian José Landuyt, soigneur Herman Versele and drug couriers Georges Windels and Freddy Walraevens, as well as riders Jo Planckaert, Chris Peers, Nico Henderickx, Birger Donie and Oliver Penny have got their own dossiers in the matter.
According to Patrick Lefelon, the author of the article in Monday's edition of HLN, the sentences in these cases could be severe if the dossiers are ever brought before a judge.
Charges against the suppliers
José Landuyt - veterinarian
-Sale of 7 boxes of Aranesp to Herman Versele (between 1/12/02 and 1/2/03)
Herman Versele - Soigneur
-Sale of four boxes Aranesp to Nico Hendrickx
Georges Windels - courier
-possession of seven doses of Aranesp of 10,20 or 40 mcg and four doses of Emra Eprex FS,of 4000 units each (between 2/2/02 and 4/9/03)
Freddy Walraevens - courier
-sale of one box of Neo-Recormon and one box of Aranesp to Oliver Penney (between 10/04/03 and 30/04/03)
Charges against the athletes
The question whether Johan Museeuw will ever stand trial in this matter is still unanswered. The prosecutors have to convince the council members of the charges brought against him. This might not be an easy thing to do. After all, it is not proven that Museeuw used the doping products found at his house.
It is believed that a public trial will be a permanent smear on Museeuw's career and victories. The many conversations and SMSs will be brought into the open by the prosecutors and this would be detrimental to Museeuw's glory and fame. Thus, his lawyers will try their utmost to have the case bleed to death behind the closed doors of the council chamber. The judges of this council chamber have the say in whether the case will go to court or not. Nothing has been decided as yet.
According to HLN, it will become very hard for De Clercq to maintain his innocence. The detectives are of the opinion that while Museeuw can only be charged with illegal possession, the note book which was found in De Clercq's house makes it hard for him to deny he was using the doping products.
Johan Museeuw - cyclist
According to the author of the article, Patrick Lefelon, Museeuw's arrogance and his off-hand manner of treating things when the whole investigation started in the summer of 2003, has motivated the magistrates and detectives to investigate this dossier to the fullest. Every bit of information was analysed and the SMSs and telephone conversations between Museeuw and Landuyt were analysed to the last letter.
-Possession of a dose of 80 to 100 mcg Aranesp (between 2/7 and 8/7/03)
Mario De Clercq - cyclist
-Possession of Rusocortin with Spanish insert (house search 4/9/03)
This accusation was made after analysis of a note book found at De Clercq's house during the house search on 4/9/03. Mario De Clercq sticks to the statement that the notes were made for research reasons, because of a novel he was planning on writing. The investigators are using this so-called "diary" to charge Mario De Clercq, they say that it shows he was using doping during 2001.
De Clercq made following notes about EPO and other doping products:
(conc. the EPO doses, the quantity varied between 2000 to 4000 units per dose)
HLN concluded that in January 2001, Mario De Clercq used EPO eight times. That month he became Belgian Champion, three weeks later he finished third in the World Championships in Tabor. It's alleged that the preparation for his third World Title in Zolder (2002) started in July 2001, with 6 EPO injections in one month. In August he didn't use any, but from September to December he kept notes of EPO doses.
Jo Planckaert - cyclist
-Possession of Aranesp or EPO (between 1/6/03 and 20/6/03)
Chris Peers - cyclist
-Possession of EPO or Aranesp (between 1/6/03 and 20/6/03)
Birger Donie - rider
-Purchase of 3 boxes of Aranesp from Herman Versele
Nico Henderickx - cyclist
-Purchase of four boxes of Aranesp from Herman Versele
Oliver Penney - cyclist
-Possession of Testosterone, methyltestosterone, a syringe containing
Eprex, Melatonin pills, vials with hydrocortisone, DHEA, Osandrolone pills,
vials salbutamol, a box Solar Cortef (hydrocortisone) (house search of
Zanotti breaks through
Marco Zanotti (Liquigas-Bianchi) finally broke through with a victory in the last stage and the overall classification of the Circuit Franco-Belge, which finished in Tournai/Doornik on Sunday. Zanotti won a bunch sprint ahead of a returned-to-form Wouter Weylandt (Quick.Step), whose teammate Stefano Zanini took third.
"I have been in good shape for a long time," said Zanotti on Monday. "I've also collected some good placings, even too many...I was lacking a victory. Yesterday I've taken a big load off."
Zanotti now has two victories this season, meaning that he has won races every year since 2000. "It's not only a matter of numbers," said the 31 year-old. "After a thousand placings, I wanted to give a success to my team as a present."
Zanotti is full of confidence thinking about next Sunday: "I like Paris-Tours very much. My legs are great and my morale is good: I'm aiming at a great result."
One rider not so lucky yesterday was Matti Breschel (CSC), who finished 50th in the last stage and fifth overall, but it might have been better. "It was actually a perfect set up for Matti, because the final was slightly uphill and we knew the podium spots were to be determined in that last sprint," said CSC sports director Scott Sunderland. "What happened was that Matti got a flat on the cobblestones 800 meters before the finish, which of course rendered him chanceless in the sprint. It was a shame 'cause he's really done well down here, and a spot on the podium was definitely within his reach. On the whole, the team has shown good form, so I think we'll have a very strong crew for next week's races."
CSC's next appointments are Paris-Bourges on Thursday and Sunday's ProTour-race, Paris-Tours.
Markov to Illes Balears
Russian rider Alexei Markov (Milaneza-Maia) is joining the Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne team for next season. The 26 year-old, measuring 1.81 m and weighing 70 kg, has developed during the first part of his career in Portugal. In 2005, Markov won the CCT Correos overall plus two stages. He also achieved stage victories in the Vuelta al Algarve, Gran Prix Oeste, Gran Prix Centro, and GP Agostinho. Markov was a gold medallist on the track in Atlanta 1996 and a bronze medallist in Sydney 2000.
Team Barloworld announces SA Riders for 2006
Team Barloworld-Valsir will once again have a strong South African core after it was announced today that four of the country's top cyclists would ride for the squad in 2006. Barloworld-Valsir have retained three of the South African riders from its 2005 roster and re-signed James Perry, who rode for the team in the 2004 season.
Negotiations with South African champion, Ryan Cox, still need to be finalised. Cox had a successful season during which he won the Tour de Langkawi, and is currently the second-highest ranked rider on the UCI Asian Tour, despite having raced on that continent just twice this season. During the Tour of Britain, Cox was seen as the face of the race, as his image was used on posters advertising the event all over the country.
The "Iron Man" of South African cycling and a former national champion, Jock Green, has been retained for his dedication and invaluable hard work as a super domestique. Jeremy Maartens, regarded as one of the most talented riders to come out of South Africa in years, will be back in the saddle with Barloworld-Valsir and much is expected of him in 2006.
Another former South African champion and the winner of the 2005 Cape Argus Pick 'n Pay Giro Del Capo, Tiaan Kannemeyer, who suffered a bad injury during a race in Germany earlier this year when he crashed and broke his femur, will also line up with the squad in 2006. He has been in rehabilitation for most of the year and is planning on making a solid impact when he returns to competition.
Perry's return to Barloworld-Valsir comes after a very successful season with Konica-Minolta in which he won races in Europe and South Africa. A bronze medallist at the 2001 under-23 World Championships time trial, Perry finished 26th in the elite time trial at this year's World Championships in Madrid.
The contracts of Darren Lill, who has struggled with form in his time with the team, and David George, have not been renewed as Barloworld-Valsir looks to build on its successful 2005 and focus on gaining more results in Europe.
"The intention is to build a young team which can be built on for the future," said John Robertson, the manager of Barloworld-Valsir. "The team has achieved everything that we can possibly do in South Africa, and the future of the team is in Europe. There is therefore an obligation to purchase the best riders possible to fulfil all the sponsors' objectives regardless of nationality. David is an outstanding professional, who has been on the team since its inception and we hold him in high regard and thank him for the contribution he has made to the team."
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)