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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for July 27, 2006

Edited by Jeff Jones, with assistance from Susan Westemeyer

Phonak confirms Landis positive

Floyd Landis (Phonak)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

The Phonak team has confirmed the speculation that Floyd Landis returned a positive A sample after his win in stage 17 of the Tour de France. "The Phonak Cycling Team was notified yesterday by the UCI about an unusual level of Testosterone/Epitestosterone ratio in the test made on Floyd Landis after stage 17 of the Tour de France," said the team in a statement. "The team management and the rider were both totally surprised of this physiological result.

"The rider will ask in the upcoming days for the counter analysis to prove either that this result is coming from a natural process or that this is resulting from a mistake in the confirmation. In application of the Pro Tour Ethical Code, the rider will not race anymore until this problem is totally clear.

"If the result of the B sample analysis confirms the result of the A sample, the rider will be dismissed and will then pass the corresponding endocrinological examinations."

The World Anti-Doping Agency has lowered the limit for the maximum T/E level from 6:1 to 4:1. Some athletes have naturally high levels, and can prove this through a series of tests.

Swiss ready to move quickly on Ullrich case

Prof. Gerhard Walter, head of the disciplinary committee of the Swiss Olympic Committee, is waiting for the investigation material from the Spanish police and Operation Puerto concerning Jan Ullrich, who rides with a Swiss license.

Walter told Bild that if charges are raised against Ullrich, "it can all go very quickly. I would try to have the process finished within three to four weeks."

Ullrich claims that there are no grounds for a process, and that his guilt must first be proven. "That is nonsense," Walter said in Bild. "The presumption of innocence applies for those in normal courts. But we are dealing with a disciplinary procedure. The WADA code applies, and the athlete must prove his case. One could draw conclusions from Ullrich's reluctance to work with us."

German lawyer Michael Lehner, who has appeared on behalf of Danilo Hondo, said in Bild, "Ullrich's guilt must be proved. But it will be difficult to find evidence." He also does not see that Ullrich could be forced to take a DNA test. "In Germany, after hefty political and ethical discussion, the DNA test has been approved only for murder or other serious crimes. Doping does not belong to that category."

Davis and four others not implicated in Operacion Puerto

Wants UCI to let him race again

When Operacion Puerto released a dossier of information to the UCI listing riders it held under suspicion for participation in alleged blood-doping practices operated by Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes in Madrid, Spain, five riders (Allan Davis, Joseba Beloki, Isidro Nozal, Sergio Paulinho, Alberto Contador) from the then-named Liberty-Seguros-Wurth were named, among others. With seemingly damning information in hand, the UCI and ASO prevented the team from riding in the Tour. Others, including Tour favourites such Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso, were also prevented from starting.

Davis reported on Thursday that he and his accused teammates from the TdF team received a certified letter from the Spanish judge presiding over the investigation clearing him of any connection to the case. In a statement to Cyclingnews, Davis says that he is still not being allowed to enter UCI-sanctioned races and made a plea to the UCI to take whatever evidence they need, including a DNA sample if necessary, to clear him to race once again.

Here is the statement in its entirety:

As you all know, I was forced to not take part in this year's Tour de France after being named in a list of riders that are implicated in the Operacion Puerto.

I have been wrongly named in this list. I do not know Dr Fuentes, I have never spoken to Dr Fuentes either in person or on the phone and I have never had any reason to want to meet Dr Fuentes. I have requested a copy of the documents which are meant to implicate me, but to date I am still not sure how and in what way I am meant to be implicated.

To date, I have preferred to be silent and wait for justice to prove that I have nothing to do with Operacion Puerto. I am now over this whole situation. I thought it was finally over last Thursday when the Judge of the Operation Puerto sent a certified letter stating that my teammates from the Tour de France and I have nothing to do with proceedings in Madrid. I now find that my team can not include me in the upcoming races as the UCI have stated that I am still part of their investigation.

I invite or even demand that the UCI, ACF, Spanish Judicial system or whoever needs to, carry out a DNA test to finally clear my name from all of this. I understand that this is my choice and every individual is free to do whatever he feels he needs to do.

Should the DNA test prove that I am associated to this case, I will hang up my cycling shoes the day after and head home to Bundaberg and start looking for a normal job.

All of this is very frustrating when all I want to do is ride my bike and be able to make a living for my wife, kids and myself.

Allan Davis.

Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'

May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
May 15, 2009 - Valverde not welcome in Denmark
May 14, 2009 - Spanish federation wants proof in Valverde case
May 13, 2009 - Spanish Olympic Committee defends Valverde
May 12, 2009 - Valverde responds to sanction
May 11, 2009 - Italian tribunal delivers Valverde two-year suspension
May 8, 2009 - Valverde case: Italian Olympic Committee defends Torri
May 7, 2009 - Valverde to take legal action against CONI prosecutor
May 5, 2009 - WADA and Spanish federation join CONI and UCI on Valverde
May 1, 2009 - International Cycling Union joins in on Valverde's hearing in Italy

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of Operación Puerto

Veneberg out

Rabobank reports that Thorwald Veneberg is suffering from glandular fever, and will miss the Deutschland Tour next week. His recovery will take at least four weeks, and his spot will be taken by Australian Graeme Brown.

The full team for Germany is: Grischa Niermann, Kai Reus, Roy Sentjens, Jan Boven, Mathew Hayman, Graeme Brown, Gerben Löwik and Thomas Dekker.

Volksbank as first Austrian Team in a ProTour race

Team Volksbank will be celebrating an exciting "first" next week: it will be the first Austrian team to participate in a ProTour race when it contests the Deutschland Tour.

Team Manager Thomas Kofler said, "Our guys want to show what they can do. After the Tour of Austria, they were rather depressed because of the poor results, but that just motivates them more for the Deutschland Tour. I will be excited to see just how big the difference is in a ProTour race. I assume that we as a team will represent Austria well."

The team will be led by German sprinter Sven Teutenberg, who returned to racing this season after a two-year break. "My goal is a stage win, absolutely. And hopefully immediately by the prologue in Düsseldorf, my hometown. Putting on the yellow jersey there would be a dream come true."

Team Volksbank for the Deutschland Tour: Sven Teutenberg, Gerrit Glomser, Andreas Matzenbacher, Harald Morscher, Werner Riebenbauer, Patrick Riedesser, Pascal Hungerbühler, and Christoph Girschweiler.

Gerolsteiner has also announced its lineup for the Deutschland Tour: Sebastian Lang, Levi Leipheimer, Andrea Moletta, Davide Rebellin, Ronny Scholz, Stefan Schumacher, Georg Totschnig and Markus Zberg.

Caucchioli stays with Crédit Agricole

Italian Pietro Caucchioli has extended his contract with Crédit Agricole for another two years, taking him through until the end of 2008. The 30 year-old finished 16th in the recent Tour de France, and is down to take part in the Vuelta a España (August 26-September 9).

Cavendish to be stagiaire with T-Mobile

The 21-year-old British rider Mark Cavendish will be riding as a stagiaire with T-Mobile Team as of August 1, it was announced Wednesday. He has been riding for the T-Mobile development program under trainer Heiko Salzwedel.

"Mark rode a strong Tour of Berlin and that recommended him," said Salzwedel. "It is planned that he will ride in Rund um die Hainleite, the Sparkasse Giro Bochum, the Tour of Britain and the Hessen Rundfahrt," said Mario Kummer, T-Mobile's Sport-Technical Director.

Cavendish is world champion in the two-man track time trial, and is considered Britain's biggest sprinting talent. "In Berlin he proved that he is also good in time trialing and comes over the mountains well," according to Salzwedel. "Mark is one of those young men with fast legs who doesn't show any fear in the last meters."

Steurs stagiaire with Davitamon-Lotto

24 year-old Belgian Geert Steurs, will ride as a stagiaire for Davitamon-Lotto in the last part of the season, reports

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