Latest Cycling News for November 14, 2006
Edited by Gregor Brown
Fake emails from Châtenay-Malabry lab regarding Landis
By Hedwig Kröner
French police are currently investigating a possible violation of the central e-mail server of the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD) close to Paris. On Tuesday, November 7, an official complaint has been filed by the president of the French anti-doping agency, Pierre Bordry.
Several e-mails, disguised as coming form the LNDD, were sent to sports institutions UCI, IOC, WADA amongst other recipients, questioning the responsibility of the laboratory with regards to the Floyd Landis doping case during the Tour de France. Attached to these e-mails were excerpts of internal documents concerning rectifications that had been made during previous testing process, but taken out of context. However, the messages were written in poor French with apparently typical English-speaking errors, and lacked the signature of its director, Jacques de Ceaurritz. Moreover, the official logo of the laboratory had been badly re-created, including an error in the spelling of 'Châtenay-Malabry'.
"I received an e-mail signed by a certain Norman Crépin," Christine Ayotte, director of the WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratory in Montreal, Canada, told L'Equipe. "The message said that the French lab was a specialist in repetitive errors in his anti-doping analysis. ... The form was suspect; e-mails coming from Châtenay-Malabry not signed by Jacques De Ceaurritz... I was circumspect."
A staff member of the laboratory corresponds to the surname 'Crépin', but he would have nothing to do with this affair. According to L'Equipe, a person with close ties to Floyd Landis has been identified as the author of the e-mails by French investigators.
"Before, these kind of strategies occurred within North America," said Ayotte, who deplored a number of manoeuvres trying to destabilize WADA-accredited anti-doping laboratories. "Now, personal attacks of this kind increase. With the Armstrong affair, the Landis file, the LNDD has had its share. It's a shame."
Police investigations meanwhile continue, as the information on the lab server is regarded as highly sensitive, and includes the alleged doping files of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, as well as his 2006 successor, Floyd Landis. The LNDD has had their credibility questioned in the past with problems of poor security, with testing results of both Landis and Armstrong were leaked.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
CSC "proud" of their team's anti-doping measures
Director CSC Global Sponsorships Ole Egeblad, fresh from competing in the Crocodile Trophy, is back home in Denmark and "proud" of what he is hearing from his team. Yesterday, team manager of CSC, Bjarne Riis, announced that his team would start a new intensive anti-drug program in December that will run through the 2007 season.
"It is 100% a Team CSC initiative," Egeblad explained to Cyclingnews. "However we are always in close dialogue with the Team, and we have supported the project from day one."
The tests will make way for the monitoring of CSC riders, looking for the presence of EPO, Nesp, evidence of blood transfusions and significant changes in hormone profiles. The results of the checks will be kept in a data bank that will be made available to the UCI and WADA upon request and, at the end of the 2007 season, a dossier of results will be provided to the press.
"CSC [the IT company] is in full support of Team CSC's new, aggressive anti-doping program," continued Egeblad regarding the program created by Riis with the help of Danish anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard. "We're proud of the fact that they have stepped forward to create the most comprehensive anti-doping program in all of cycling and that they've done this because they believe it is the best thing for the sport, not because they've been forced to by any governing body or outside interest."
The cycling public couldn't be blamed for being lost amongst the well-intended anti-doping programs that are surfacing by teams like T-Mobile, Gerolsteiner, and, now, Team CSC. There seems to be a need for a unified solution to combat doping in cycling but for the time being the teams have to lead the way.
"It's not a big secret that we as one of the major sponsors for professional cycling do have some concerns about the fact that professional cycling these days has some challenges when it comes to unified solution amongst the ProTour teams," confirmed the Dane. "However it's up to the teams to find the best solution for the sport of professional cycling. ... I don't know other team programs exactly, but it seems like T-Mobile and Team CSC are sharing the yellow jersey right now."
Tinkoff Credit Systems is interested in Mancebo
Spaniard Francisco Mancebo, formally with Ag2R Prévoyance, has reportedly received an offer from Tinkoff Credit Systems. According to todociclismo.com, the rider from Ávila has been offered a two-year contract worth €600,000 a year.
Paco is currently negotiating with Ag2R Prévoyance to formalize the termination of his contract, a process that came about when the rider was linked to Operación Puerto. Last month the rider was given the green light by his federation to return to racing, thus clearing the way for contact negotiations.
The Italian professional continental team, backed by Russian millionaire Oleg Tinkov, has also stated their interests in Tyler Hamilton and Jan Ullrich. The former has indicated that he has already signed for a team, but there is not definitive indication that it is Tinkoff.
Zabel: "heads should roll"
By Susan Westemeyer
Erik Zabel is fed up with the way things have developed since the Operación Puerto investigation began in May, including Discovery Channel's signing of Ivan Basso. "In view of the development of this affair perhaps heads should roll within the UCI or WADA, he told Eurosport.
On the personal side, though, Zabel is happy with his first year with the new Milram team. "We can be quite content, even if everything did not run naturally as desired and we had to bear, for instance, the long loss of Alessandro Petacchi - nevertheless we achieved much. For me back-to-back successes in the autumn were very important," he said.
Looking to the immediate future, he noted that "In December I will sit down with the team management and then we will decide together on the plans" for the coming year. But even "Iron-Man" Zabel, who is currently riding the Six Days of Munich, needs a break now and then: "There's a light at the end of the tunnel. After Munich we will go on vacation!"
But looking to the more distant future, Zabel doesn't entirely rule out a return to his former T-Mobile team, but neither does he embrace the idea. His two former colleagues and close friends, Jan Schaffrath and Rolf Aldag, now work for the team in management positions. Doesn't Zabel feel a pull to go back to T-Mobile and his friends? "First we have to wait and see how things develop at T-Mobile. The colour stays the same, but otherwise the team in the coming year doesn't have a lot in common with the team from 2006. And while my plans for the short term may be fairly clear, the long-term plans are still pretty open as to what might come when I stop riding."
Cyclingnews' recent coverage of 'Operación Puerto'
May 18, 2009 - Valverde to start Catalunya
Dine with Cadel at the Sydney World Cup
The organising committee of the Sydney round of the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics has announced an exclusive offer for sports fans is now being auctioned on www.eBay.com.au. It is an opportunity to enjoy a night with Cadel Evans. The Australian cyclist will host dinner for nine lucky guests at the UCI Track Cycling World Cup Classics at the Dunc Gray Velodrome this Friday night. The profits from the auction of this "Inner Wheel" table will be donated to the Amy Gillett Foundation and Renee Junga Appeal. The auction closes on Thursday morning at 10.00AM (AEST)
Evans, a two time mountain bike world cup series champion, this year equalled the best ever result by an Australian when he finished fifth overall in the Tour de France and was recently named one of three finalists for the 2006 Australian Road Cyclist of the Year award. He will be trackside to lend his support to the Australian riders and give his guests a personal insight. He has agreed to donate his time to help highlight road safety awareness amongst motorists and cyclists through the Amy Gillett Foundation and to assist BMX star Renee Junga in her rehabilitation.
The Amy Gillett Foundation is in honors of Amy Gillett, who was a truly one of Australia's sporting elite. The nation shared the grief of her family and team mates when she was tragically killed during a training ride with the Australian team in Germany in 2005.
The Renee Junga Appeal was jointly launched by Bicycle Motocross Australia (BMXA), Cycling Australia (CA) and Mountainbike Australia (MTBA) for injured athlete Renee Junga. The 20 year-old, who won a Silver Medal at last years World BMX Championships in France and was the 2005 Australian Female BMX Cyclist of the Year, crashed in August this year on the 4X (Four-Cross) course at the World Mountainbike Championships in Rotorua, NZ.
Renee broke the C1 and C2 bones in her neck and suffered spinal trauma at the T6 vertebrae. She has also suffered two broken ribs and a fractured sternum. She is now in the spinal unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane working hard on her rehabilitation and adapting to her new lifestyle.
For more information or tickets for the Track World Cup visit www.trackworldcup.cycling.org.au or contact 02 9738 2505.
Paul Crake to undergo surgery in New Zealand
Australian cycling medallist and stair climbing champion, Paul Crake, 29, will undergo surgery in New Zealand's Christchurch Hospital after suffering spinal injuries in a crash during Saturday's stage of the Powernet Tour of Southland.
Crake was one of five cyclists blown off the road by a powerful wind gust as they headed into the final two kilometres of the 79 kilometre eighth stage from Te Anau to Lumsden. He was taken to the local hospital by ambulance and on Sunday flown by air ambulance to Christchurch.
Scans have revealed minor fractures to his C1 and C2 cervical vertebrae and dislocations of his T5 and T6 thoracic vertebrae. He also sustained numerous cuts and bruising. Doctors say it is too early to predict the full impact of his injuries but will operate to stabilise his cervical vertebrae and to pin and secure the T5 and T6 vertebrae.
ACT Cycling Federation President and competitive cyclist, Steve Blair, was by his teammate's side within moments of the crash occurring. "Two kilometres from the finish of the stage they came down a slight descent and it was just incredibly windy and they were caught by a gust and blown down the bank," said Blair. "Four riders got up but Paul didn't.
"Paul hit his back on a fence post at the bottom and lost consciousness for four or five minutes but when he came around he was quite lucid and all his vitals were good," he said. "The race doctor was on the scene really quickly and did all the right things to immobilise him and get him to hospital.
"Paul is fully aware of his situation and the nature of his injuries and his Mom and Dad are here along with friends to give him all the support he needs as he recovers from the surgery," said Mr Blair.
Crake was a member of the Australian team at the 2004 Road World Championships in Italy, was third in the road race at last year's Australian open road championships and this year placed second on the fourth stage of the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under into Willunga. This season he has raced as a professional in Italy with Naturino-Sapore di Mare.
He switched from stair climbing to cycling in 2002. As a stair climber he notched up five straight victories in the annual sprint up the 86 flights of stairs (1576 stairs) to the top of New York's Empire State Building between 1999 and 2003, and still holds the record for the fastest ascent, 9'33".
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2006)