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Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for September 25, 2006

Edited by Anthony Tan

UCI considers DNA to fight doping

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

One of the many agenda items on the docket for the International Cycling Union (UCI) during the world championships was the idea to study the use of DNA testing in an effort to step-up the fight against doping.

"After consultation with the riders' association, the ProTour Council has also decided to look into the possibility of demanding that riders be obliged to submit DNA samples," reads a UCI communiqué. "They would also be asked to undergo tests which would be used to gauge their physiological potential."

However, the medical as well as the legal implications involved with such are move are unknown and would certainly need to be studied before moving forward. UCI president Pat McQuaid told the Associated Press: "It is important for us to show that we will not tolerate cheats. DNA is not the only way. We are looking at all the possibilities that we can use."

Further showing how much non-championships issues are taking centre stage in Salzburg, McQuaid said: "I have been here since Monday, and I haven't seen a bicycle yet."

Confusion continues over Ullrich case

By Susan Westemeyer

Does Swiss Cycling have the necessary documents for an investigation into Jan Ullrich? The UCI says yes, the Swiss say no. The UCI sent the Swiss federation a dossier more than a month ago, allegedly including a detailed doping calendar. But so far no hearing has been opened.

"We need the original documents and not translations, otherwise the disciplinary committee will throw us out," Lorenz Schläfli, director of Swiss Cycling, told the Neue Züricher Zeitung. UCI attorney Philippe Verbiest responded: "The Swiss received the original documents - just like all the other federations."

Apparently, Schläfli is also worried about the amount of time and attention the Ullrich case will require. "When we're dealing with Ullrich, we will have the attention of all the world, we can hardly cope with something of that proportion," he said.

According to the dpa press agency, Schläfli is still waiting for notarised documents, without which he can't start the hearings. However, UCI president Pat McQuaid said the Spanish authorities must take care of that.

"We can't provide a notarisation of the documents that the Swiss [cycling] federation has. That stamp can only be made by the investigating judge in Spain. We have asked him to do that. When it happens, the Swiss will be informed," said McQuaid.

Another Ullrich investigation

By Susan Westemeyer

In other news concerning the 1997 Tour de France champion, the public prosecutor in Hamburg, Germany, is investigating Ullrich in connection with his injunction against German anti-doping crusader Werner Franke. The investigation is based on whether Ullrich lied under oath. Prosecution spokesman Rüdiger Bagger confirmed the investigation to German TV network ARD, saying: "There are enough factual grounds for an initial suspicion."

After Franke said that Ullrich paid Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes 35,000 Euro for doping products, Ullrich went to court and received an injunction, prohibiting Franke from repeating the claim. As part of the injunction, Ullrich submitted a sworn affidavit, which is now being questioned.

Wiggins looking to break Olympic record

But says: "I don't feel proud to be a professional cyclist"

Bradley Wiggins said he didn't contest the world time trial championships because he was "physically and mentally tired from the Tour and I was pissed off with the whole sport".

In a column published in UK newspaper The Guardian, the 26 year-old British rider makes it very clear which side he takes regarding the Floyd Landis case. "I was really angry with Floyd Landis when he tested positive for testosterone. I was pleased with my own Tour, but that was ruined by having him test positive when I was part of the race as well," Wiggins wrote.

"It's now three months after the Tour started and no more has come out since Strasbourg at the end of June. We don't know the 52 names on the list. Nothing has happened since the Tour. Landis is positive and may or may not get off. It's a farce."

Wiggins is now focused on defending his Olympic pursuit crown, and wants to break his own Olympic record set in Athens, which he achieved in a qualifying run. "I'll be looking to get under the Olympic record and that will mean doing about 4min 14sec for the 4km," he wrote, with a date set for October 4.

"When I go to Europe and race and see the winner on the podium with everyone wondering if he is positive or not, I don't feel proud to be a professional cyclist," said Wiggins. "It's what I wanted to do as a kid, but I don't feel proud to wear the kit.

"I wear the British team jersey with far more pride. I'd much rather win the Olympics than the yellow jersey in the Tour. That doesn't mean I won't try to win the Tour de France prologue, but my sights are on Beijing."

Hoj to Cofidis

French team Cofidis has confirmed Frank Hoj will be joining them next season, leaving Gerolsteiner. The 33 year-old Dane has signed a two-year contract, and is expected to support fellow newcomer Nick Nuyens at the Spring Classics.

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