Latest Cycling News for August 7, 2006
Edited by Jeff Jones
Hip surgery in two weeks for Landis
Floyd Landis will undergo hip replacement surgery in two weeks time, before preparing to defend himself against the US Anti-Doping Agency in his doping case. Landis confirmed this in an interview with USA Today's Sal Ruibal, as well as expressing his frustration at the way his affair has been handled by the UCI and WADA.
"I just got the information on the 'A' sample a day and half ago," he said on the weekend. "I had to find out about the 'B' from reading it in the media." The UCI released the news about Landis' A sample on July 27 - a rare, if not unprecedented move from the world's governing body for cycling. Normally a positive drug test would not be made public until the results of both the 'A' and 'B' samples were confirmed positive, protecting the athlete in case the 'B' sample was negative. But news travels like wildfire when there are doping cases, and the UCI was afraid that L'Equipe, which has close ties with the Paris lab that performed the analysis, would receive the results via a leak and publish them anyway.
Landis pointed out to USA Today that American sprinter Justin Gatlin's positive "A" test for a high testosterone:epitesosterone ratio was not announced by track and field officials for three months, "while I had only two days to react to mine."
Landis continues to deny that he took testosterone to boost his performance in stage 17, when he vaulted back into Tour de France contention with a remarkable 130 km breakaway ride. "I put in more than 20,000 kilometres of training for the Tour," he said. I won the Tour of California, Paris-Nice and the Tour de Georgia. I was tested eight times at the Tour; four times before that stage and three times after, including three blood tests. Only one came back positive. Nobody in their right mind would take testosterone just once; it doesn't work that way."
As for the reasons that have been given so far (some by his legal team, even more by his fans) to explain his anomalous results, Landis claimed that he had been "...forced to defend myself in the media. It would never have happened if UCI and WADA had followed their own rules."
One thing that Landis doesn't believe is that someone from his team either inadvertently or purposely gave him synthetic testosterone. "Zero chance," he commented.
Franke doesn't believe Landis has a chance
By Susan Westemeyer
Floyd Landis won't be able to prove his innocence, according to outspoken German anti-doping expert Dr. Werner Franke. "You have to laugh at this announcement. The tests have shown without doubt that Landis' high testosterone count was not produced by his own body, but is of a vegetable basis. That proves that the testosterone was synthetically produced and had to be introduced from outside."
He also put down T-Mobile's proposed new blood tests. "This method is not scientifically certified. This is just fine talk, like we have heard over and over in the past years, which in the end doesn't bring anything."
He is also skeptical of stricter doping tests, he told the press agency sid, saying it would be more useful to conduct intensive controls during training and preparation times, such as when athletes are in altitude training camps.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
Germans get tougher
The German cycling federation will step up its fight against doping, and conducting more drug tests and imposing harsher penalties than it does now. Speaking at the end of the fifth stage of the Tour of Germany, President Rudolf Scharping was quoted by Reuters as saying, "They [the drug tests] will be much more frequent, higher quality and of greater intensity. This policy, effective from September 1, will affect teams in all professional categories, both for men and women."
The tougher penalties will involve lifetime bans from national teams for those athletes found to be doping. Scharping also called for anti-doping laws to be introduced in Germany, similar to those of France and Italy.
Petacchi returns in Due Giorni Marchigiana
Alessandro Petacchi (Milram) will make his long awaited return to racing in the Due Giorni Marchigiana (August 8-9). Petacchi broke his left kneecap in the opening stages of the Giro d'Italia in early May, and after a three month break, will race again on Wednesday in the 26th Gran Premio Citta' di Castelfidardo. Petacchi hopes to be fit by the Vuelta a España, which starts on August 26.
In Tuesday's Trofeo Mengoni, Tour de France white jersey Damiano Cunego and 2005 ProTour winner Danilo Di Luca will be among those present. Others include Giro del Lazio winner Giuliano Figueras and teammate Salvatore Commesso (Lampre-Fondital), Mirko Celestino (Milram), Rinaldo Nocentini (Acqua e Sapone), Emanuele Sella and last year's Due Giorni overall winner Luca Mazzanti (Panaria).
In all, 21 teams are down to start, including the following favourites:
Milram (Celestino, Petacchi)
Kohl to Gerolsteiner
Austrian champion Bernhard Kohl (T-Mobile) will ride for Gerolsteiner in 2007, the team has confirmed. The 24 year old climbing talent has signed a two year deal with the mineral water-sponsored team.
Kohl sees it as an "enormous chance to further develop myself. It impresses me, how the management gives the youngsters here a good chance. I am convinced that I will fit in well with this young team and look forward to the new challenge."
"You don't find a lot of riders his age (24) with his abilities in the mountains," said team boss Hans-Michael Holczer. "Bernhard's performance at the Dauphiné Libéré (3rd overall) this year was impressive, and revealed a big potential as a climber and tour rider. We are very happy that he is strengthening our team next year."
Van Petegem operated on
Peter van Petegem has undergone an operation to remove three cysts, that have prevented him from sitting in the saddle properly. "If I waited another three weeks, then maybe I would have had to forget the world championship," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "That world championship, over a month and a half, is still possible.
"The recovery phase is crucial. Some say to me that I can train again after two weeks, others say that it will be at least a month. And I know the story of Freire. He suffered nearly a year like this. But I should not get back on the bike too quickly."
The 36 year-old will concentrate on his recovery for next year, when he will almost certainly ride for Quick.Step. "My manager Paul de Geyter only has to smooth out some edges," he said. "He only needs me to put a scribble under a contract for one season."
Van Petegem has yet to decide whether 2007 will be his last year as a pro.
Vos with DSB for five years
Dutch talent Marianne Vos has signed a five year deal with her current team, DSB Bank. Vos, the reigning world women's cyclo-cross champion, is still just 19 years old. She plans to study medicine in Nijmegen in the coming years, and combine that with her racing.
Sarah Hammer's 1st Annual Celebration of Excellence
American world champion track cyclist Sarah Hammer will be the main star at this Saturday's American Women’s Track Cycling Fund’s inaugural fundraiser at the ADT Event Center Velodrome in Carson, California. Other riders down to attend include world cup keirin champion Josiah Ng, two-time Commonwealth Games silver medalist Travis Smith, and 2004 Olympian Adam Duvendeck. Hammer will also be launching her new professional UCI track team, OUCH Pro Cycling.
Tickets are still available for the August 12th event at www.awtcf.org
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)