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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Edition Cycling News for February 16, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones & Les Clarke

Tyler Hamilton's last stand

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed Tyler Hamilton's appeal against his ban for blood doping on February 10. In its findings, the CAS explained exactly why none of Hamilton's arguments were convincing enough. Cyclingnews' Chief Online Editor Jeff Jones analyses the arbitration report in this special news feature.

Tyler Hamilton
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

The Tyler Hamilton blood doping case has reached its next, and arguably most significant phase, with the Court of Arbitration for Sport's recent decision to uphold Hamilton's appeal against his two year ban. In handing down its verdict late last week, the CAS found that "the HBT (homologous blood transfusion) test as applied to the samples delivered by Hamilton at the Vuelta was reliable, that on September 11, 2004 his (Hamilton's) blood did contain two different red blood cell populations and that such presence was caused by blood doping by homologous blood transfusion, a prohibited method under the UCI rules. As a consequence of this anti-doping rule violation, the CAS Panel has confirmed the two years' suspension imposed on Hamilton."

Hamilton will be able to race again on September 23, 2006, as the CAS ruled that Hamilton voluntarily accepted a provisional suspension from September 23, 2004, and the two year ban should apply from that date, not from April 18, 2005, when the American Arbitration Association (AAA) first found him guilty. In theory, that means he could race again for a ProTour team - ā la David Millar - although, unlike Millar, Hamilton doesn't appear to be admitting his culpability.

In reading the CAS's final 34-page arbitration report, many questions that were raised by Hamilton and his defence in the initial AAA/CAS hearing in 2005 are answered, while some remain frustratingly closed. The report concludes that Tyler Hamilton did use someone else's blood to win the September 11 time trial in the 2004 Vuelta a Espaņa. And there is still an open case in front of the CAS, initiated by Viatcheslav Ekimov and the Russian Cycling Federation, that he used foreign blood to win the Olympic time trial in Athens.

Click here for the full report

Hoy aims for London 2012

By Les Clarke

Currently preparing for the Commonwealth Games in Perth, Chris Hoy, Olympic and former world kilo champion has told Cyclingnews he aims to be riding at the 2012 Olympics in London. The 29-year-old Scot, who'll turn 30 during the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, said from Perth, "As long as I'm healthy and injury-free, I can't see any reason why I can't improve and go onto be successful at 35 or 36 years of age," meaning that London in 2012 would be a real option.

"I saw how the Aussies were lifted by having the Olympics in Sydney, and that was just an amazing Games," he continued, adding, "It would be a real lifetime ambition to have a home Olympics." Hoy said preparations for the Commonwealth Games are well on track for the British riders, and with an International GP in Perth this weekend, more good training is on the way. The focus will be the team sprint, with Hoy looking to concentrate on the event post-Commonwealth Games with the Kilo now scrapped from the Olympic program.

Hoy looks to his teammates for inspiration. "You look at Jason [Queally] who's 35 at the moment and going to be 38 in Beijing," said Hoy. "He's just going faster and faster - there's no sign of him letting up. I think it's just about being smart, about using your head." Hoy believes he'll have to adopt some of Queally's strategies in the future to keep himself fresh. "He [Queally] doesn't recover as well now, so he's doing quality sessions and looking to get the most out of himself. Instead of battering himself and running himself into the ground, he's being sensible, and that's what I've got to do," said Hoy, before adding, "I've got a strong work ethic and I do push myself very hard - it's one thing that's going to be hard to gradually back off...but if I'm looking to continue to maybe compete in London in 2012 then it's something I'm going to have to address."

Look for a full interview with Chris Hoy in the coming days on Cyclingnews

Vandenbroucke's fine dropped

The Belgian Hof van Cassatie has quashed the June 2005 ruling of the Gent Court of Appeal that decreed that Frank Vandenbroucke must pay a fine of €250,000 for breaking the Belgian drug laws, according to Sporza.be.

The case, which began in 2002, has been through several Belgian courts. In 2004, the Dendermonde Correctional Court ruled that Vandenbroucke should do 200 hours of community service for possession of illegal drugs. At that point, he had already served a six month sporting sanction, and his lawyer Luc Deleu argued that that ban should have been enough.

VDB appealed the Dendermonde ruling to the Gent Court of Appeal, but the Court of Appeal decided that instead of doing community service, he should pay a fine of €250,000, taking the line that he should have been penalised as a drug addict, rather than an athlete who was doping. The Hof van Cassatie has now annulled the fine, and Vandenbroucke is theoretically free, unless another appeal is lodged.

Star studded field heads to Geelong

A massive field that includes the world's top three cyclists will line up in Geelong to contest the opening round of the 2006 UCI Women's Road Cycling World Cup (February 26) and the preceding Geelong Tour (February 21-23).

Two-time world cup overall winner Oenone Wood heads the list, along with former teammate Judith Arndt (T-Mobile) and new teammate Kate Bates, who is the current Australian road race champion. Univega's Welsh gun Nicole Cooke will be making a comeback from injury and will be in a field boasting names such as Germany's Ina Teutenberg, American Kimberly Bruckner and Susanne Ljungskog, plus last year's Geelong winner Rochelle Gilmore and teammate Joanne Kiesanowski from New Zealand.

Japan's Miho Oki, who placed third in the 2004 Geelong World Cup will join Australian Olivia Gollan in the Italian Nobili Rubinetterie team, and Athens Olympic road race champion, Sara Carrigan, will line up in the QAS colours this year. Experienced Russian Olga Slyusareva heads the Russian team which makes its Geelong debut in 2006, and New Zealander Sarah Ulmer will also line up in Victoria.

For more information please visit the official website www.geelongworldcup.com

Sanderson 'more motivated than ever'

By Gerard Knapp

Despite reports to the contrary, promising 21-year-old Australian rider Nic Sanderson has no intention of ending his career and is "more motivated than ever" to succeed as elite-level road cyclist.

The bronze medalist in the junior road race at the 2002 World Championships recently had his contract with Belgian ProTour team Davitamon-Lotto annulled due to disclosure that he suffered from a mild form of epilepsy. But as the rider explained to Cyclingnews, the condition has, "never affected my cycling. I've had two episodes in my whole life; I've had some tests done and it showed only a mild dose of epilepsy". He said when necessary he needed to take "only mild dosage medication" that is not included on any banned list.

Sanderson has remained training in Victoria and remains hopeful of securing a contract for 2006. He is represented by leading Belgian agent, Paul de Geyter of Sport and Entertainment Management (SEM), one of cycling's leading agents whose clients range from Tom Boonen to Bobby Julich. The agent said it was a "very unfortunate situation" but "both parties decided it was best to end the contract". Neither Sanderson nor de Geyter would criticize Davitamon-Lotto and both had accepted the outcome, and stressed they wish to move forward as quickly as possible.

De Geyter said it was not ideal to be securing a new contract at this stage of the season, even if his young client has undoubted talent. "If this happened in October I would not be too scared, but in February it will be difficult." Sanderson signed his contract with the team in early September 2005, and represented the squad in the Jayco Herald-Sun Tour in Victoria. He was also named for the Davitamon-Lotto team for the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, but he said he "came down with something," and felt poorly, so the team sent him home to recover. Earlier in the month, Sanderson had been a DNF in the men's road race at the Australian Open.

De Geyter was keen to move on. "It's not in Nic's interests to inflame the situation," he said. The issue with Davitamon-Lotto "was not primarily a health problem".

Even though epilepsy is not uncommon, the condition is widely misunderstood. However, it has not shown to be an impediment to athletic performance. One of its most high-profile campaigners is now-retired French cyclist Marion Clignet. At the time Clignet developed epilepsy, she had been living in Chicago since early childhood after her parents emigrated from France. Clignet was developing into a very promising cyclist but such was the lack of support or understanding of her condition, she believed she would not be selected in USA teams, so she moved back to France and represented that country with distinction.

Clignet said the condition - and the lack of understanding surrounding it - gave her added motivation to "get out and train day in and day out, just to prove to myself and others that it could be done despite the treatment and the disorder". Clignet had a distinguished career and went on to became a dual Olympic silver medalist, a world record holder in the individual pursuit and winner of six world championship titles, among many other victories.

Kodakgallery.com/Sierra for Tour of California

Kodakgallery.com/Sierra Nevada squad for Tour of California:

Mike Dietrich, Martin Gilbert, Ben Jacques-Maynes, Pete Lopinto, Dominique Perras, David Robinson, Jackson Stewart, Scott Zwizanski. Directeur sportif: Jonas Carney

ABC TV to feature AIS women

ABC TV's current affairs program Australian Story will feature the AIS women's cycling team in their next edition, to be screened on February 20. The program will have interviews with coach Warren McDonald and the riders that survived last July's accident in Germany, illustrating how each has handled their recovery both individually and as a group.

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