Latest Cycling News for August 17, 2006
Edited by Anthony Tan
Former Liberty five: 2/5 cleared
Others still in limbo
By Anthony Tan
After their 'assumed' involvement as the UCI phrased it, two out of the five former Liberty Seguros-Würth riders implicated in the Operación Puerto affair have been cleared to race by the sport's governing body.
In fact, Alberto Contador and Sergio Paulinho were officially cleared soon after the Tour de France finished, Astana press officer Jacinto Vidarte told Cyclingnews: "That's true. Paulinho and Contador can ride again," he said. "Actually, Paulinho did the Tour of Germany, and Contador did the Tour of Burgos in Spain. I don't know exactly, but it was almost one month ago, just after the finish of the Tour de France, more or less."
Around the same time Paulinho and Contador were cleared by the UCI, all five riders - the others being Allan Davis, Joseba Beloki and Isidro Nozal - received a certified letter from the Spanish judge presiding over the case, indicating they had no involvement with Operación Puerto. However, UCI president Pat McQuaid said this letter did not permit any of the quintet to resume racing.
"You have to be a little bit careful here," warned McQuaid, "because the letter which they have received, is a letter saying that are not involved in any legal investigation; that is separate from an anti-doping investigation.
"All he [the Spanish judge] told them is that he's not going to be pressing charges against them - but that doesn't mean the UCI won't be opening up a disciplinary file against any one of them," he said to Cyclingnews.
McQuaid added the UCI has told Astana (the team formerly known as Liberty Seguros-Würth) which riders are not under investigation - meaning Davis, Beloki and Nozal may still be involved. If that is the case, the UCI will then forward a dossier for that rider to the respective national cycling federation, and together with that country's anti-doping agency, a further disciplinary process will commence against them.
Explaining the case of Allan Davis, McQuaid said: "If there's going to be a case against him, we will provide the Australian [cycling] federation with a dossier, and if it's not already gone from our office, it will be going in the coming days. If there's a disciplinary process [against Davis], the Australian cycling federation along with the Australian anti-doping agency would open up the process again."
When Cyclingnews contacted Davis on Monday this week, he said the Australian Cycling Federation (ACF) had been in contact, but was yet to receive a letter or dossier from the UCI. "I've been wanting to talk to Pat McQuaid and ask why it's taking so long, because I know Paulinho and Contador have been taken off the list - I don't know how or why...
"At the moment, it hasn't really changed since my last statement," said Davis, who asked Cyclingnews to publish a statement protesting his innocence on July 27, where he invited the "UCI, ACF, Spanish Judicial system or whoever needs to, to carry out a DNA test to finally clear my name from all of this".
"I haven't been asked to do any tests or anything... it's frustrating, I'll tell you right now," he said on Monday from his European home in Spain.
"I've got lawyers into it; I've got one in Australia taking care of things, and I think I'm just about to get one here in Spain, too. Just a matter of time, really... I just really want to say it's all over with next time I talk - I don't really want to talk about a drug investigation I've got nothing to do with; it just looks even worse."
Responded McQuaid: "Bear in mind that this is an ongoing investigation - it's something that finished the day we were given those names.
"What you cannot underestimate is the amount of work we've had to do to extract the 58 names from the 500 page dossier that we've got, and to create 58 files on each rider in relation to whether there is a possible anti-doping offence or not. Out of the 58 riders, not all of them will be going forward to be disciplined; I don't know exactly what the number is, but it's an ongoing process, and we're still heavily involved in it," he said.
Astana's PR officer Jacinto Vidarte also told Cyclingnews a number of Spanish riders cleared by the UCI are still unable to race. "Here in Spain, the UCI has given authorisation [to race] for some Spanish riders, but the Spanish federation said no - that they can't ride for the moment," Vidarte said.
However, the UCI president did confirm the dossier of Ivan Basso had been sent to the Italian cycling federation. On Monday, the Swiss cycling federation announced receipt of the dossier of Jan Ullrich, indicating both riders are due to face disciplinary action in the near future.
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
Swiss court re-opens Camenzind EPO case
By Susan Westemeyer
Team Phonak can't seem to stay away from doping headlines, even if the case is two years old and the rider has long since retired. Oscar Camenzind, who was under contract to Phonak, was found to have used EPO in the summer of 2004, and promptly announced his retirement.
At the time, Camenzind refused to give the name of the person who had provided him with the EPO. He claimed the right not to incriminate himself, telling the court he could face further charges if the supplier was brought to trial in another country. The Swiss Justice Ministry confirmed this possibility, and the Swiss investigators closed the case in December last year.
However, the Swiss Kantonsgericht has sent the case back to the investigating judge Martin Eichenberger, saying it has a different opinion from the Berzirksamt which closed the case. Eichenberger will look into the matter again.
3 Molinos Resort says goodbye
By Antonio J. Salmeron
After 3 Molinos Resort manager Josefina Alcaráz previously assured the media the team's "firm intention of continuity, despite a drastic reduction in size and operating expenses", their credibility fell through yesterday when they announced an end to the team.
Spanish Professional Cyclists Association president Jose Rodriguez, accompanied by a jurist, travelled to Murcia to speak with Alcaraz and lawyer Angel Hernandez, where the definitive terms of the settlement were carried out.
Those affected are 22 cyclists, three technical staff, a sports director and a doctor. After almost five hours of discussion, it was unanimously decided the team should be disbanded, with the cyclists to receive three months' advance payment, and leaving them free to negotiate new contracts.
"It is a pity they were not able to guarantee the continuity of the squad. We have done our part and I think one has reached a good agreement," said Rodriguez to El Faro de Murcia.
Alcaráz echoed these comments, adding, "From now on, we are going to work on returning shortly to the world of the cycling, but with a total reconstruction and the objective of not falling into the errors that were previously committed."
"In addition," said Alcaráz, "we have the intention to create a new system of management and our vision is to create a young group with the commitment to work in a clean sport. We have a renewed vision and we think a lot can be done in this sport."
Solid start for Caisse d'Epargne in Eneco
With Iván Gutiérrez and Alexei Markov fourth and seventh after Wednesday's prologue at the Eneco Tour, Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears team manager José Luis Jaimerena was cautiously optimistic about the week ahead.
"We are here to obtain the best result we will be able to, but we are of course conscious of the fact that the race will be a tough one, because of the strong wind that is sure to blow on the Dutch and Belgian roads," said Jaimerena in a team statement.
"We can expect the field to break in several parts at any time. It will be very important to remain careful during the whole stage, every day. We take the start of the event with the intention of winning at least one stage, without of course forgetting the general classification. Thanks to the two time trials, Iván Gutiérrez is the man with the most possibilities to do that, without forgetting the Reynes-Markov duet in the case of a sprint."
Kroon leads CSC in Eneco opener
Finishing nine seconds down on winner Stefan Schumacher in yesterday's Eneco Tour prologue in Den Helder was enough to give Team CSC's Karsten Kroon 12th place. Given the prologue is not his speciality, the performance underlies the Dutchman's motivation to do well, said directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman.
"Karsten did excellent in a discipline, which is definitely not his specialty. The tough stages later on suit him fine, and I believe he has a good chance to be up front in the general classification," Hoffman said on team-csc.com. "He has specifically prepared himself for the Eneco Tour and hopes to be in top form for the remainder of the season."
Klöden back after a rest
By Susan Westemeyer
Andreas Klöden has used the three weeks since the Tour de France ended to rest up and recuperate. Now he's ready to go again. "I took it pretty easy during this time," the T-Mobile rider said on his Web site, www.andreas-kloeden.com.
"I didn't do too much in training - no more than four hours easy training a day was enough to bring my muscles, which desperately needed this break, back into shape. And my head is clear again for the rest of the season."
He has moved back into the racing scene in the Rothaus Regio-Tour in Germany. "After a three weeks racing pause, my body needs a few kilometres to really get into drive, but then I hope for a good race!"
Things didn't get off to a good start, though, as he was involved in a crash which sent two other riders to the hospital. Klöden and team-mate Michael Rogers both fell, but were able to finish the race and are expected to start again today. "Tonight we will see how the two are doing," said directeur sportif Valerio Piva. Klöden finished the stage in the main group, six seconds behind winner Danilo Hondo.
Colavita/Cooking Light women's team heads to UCI's top tier
Vvying for the number 1 ranking in the U.S., the Colavita/Cooking Light Women's Cycling Team will enter the 2007 racing season as a registered UCI team, according to director Jim Williams of Team Sports, Inc.
So far, the Colavita/Cooking Light women's team will be the only UCI-registered women's squad based out of the U.S. next season, as the women's T-Mobile squad will move its headquarters to Germany, merging with the men's team. Colavita/Cooking Light plans to add a number international races to its racing calendar for next year, including the Giro del Trentino Femminile and Giro d'Italia Donne [women's Giro d'Italia].
"We're proud of the UCI registration, as it offers us the opportunity to compete at a world-class level," said Williams. "We are particularly excited about the prospect of racing in the Giro d'Italia Donne because of the Italian heritage of our co-title sponsor, Colavita USA."
One of the most important races on the women's racing calendar, the 10-stage, 900-kilometre Giro d'Italia Donne attracts the some of most accomplished riders from the top UCI squads, as well as major national teams throughout the world.
"The entire Colavita family in Molise will be on hand to cheer for the team colours," said John Profaci, Vice President of Marketing for Colavita USA. Added Chris Allen, Vice President and Publisher of co-title sponsor CookingLight, "We're honoured that the Colavita/ Cooking Light Women's Cycling Team will represent us at two of the most important sporting events in Italy."
The Colavita/Cooking Light Women's Cycling Team is finalising its roster for the 2007 season. Riders and a preliminary racing schedule will be announced in September.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)