First Edition Cycling News for November 18, 2007
Edited by Sue George
WADA elects new chief and adopts code
John Fahey was voted the next chief of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on Saturday. The Australian will replace Dick Pound beginning January 1, when he commences his three-year term.
Fahey won all but four votes, which were abstentions from European nations which had put forth unsuccessfully a last minute nomination for an alternative candidate, France's Guy Drut, a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC).
Following the withdrawal of WADA vice-president Jean-François Lamour from candidacy, Fahey was the sole candidate for the position. Fahey said he would work to bring more governments on board in the fight against doping. "I believe there is a need to ensure that there is greater government commitment," said Fahey according to Reuters.
"I do not underestimate the task. I come from government and I hope to bring governments even more to the table than in the past," he continued.
Arne Ljungqvist, a Swede working with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), was elected as vice president.
Code revision wraps up 18 months of work
Prior to the election on Saturday, WADA's Foundation Board adopted the new, stronger anti-doping code, which seeks tougher penalties for dopers caught on their first offense. Penalities could be extended from two to four years if the offender is part of a large doping scheme, has been taking drugs for an extended period, has taken multiple drugs or used drugs that remain in the body for years.
The code offers reduced bans, for those who cooperate, plea bargain or have ingested a banned substance with no intention to improve performance.
"The Third World Conference on Doping in Sport and the adoption of the Madrid Resolution mark a major milestone in the fight against doping," said WADA President Richard W. Pound. "Governments and the Sport Movement have committed to taking their anti-doping efforts to the next level by leveraging their experience with the Code since 2003 and endorsing refinements to strengthen it."
The code revisions wrap up 18 months of work including three drafts. WADA expects sports and governments to implement the revisions by January 1, 2009, or risk being barred from competing at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, Canada, or the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Only 70 of the 205 IOC member nations have ratified the UNESCO convention to date.
Saturday was the final day of the three-day World Conference that began November 15.
Cycling can get fresh start according to LeMond
On the eve of the 25th edition of El Tour de Tucson Saturday, Greg LeMond told a local newspaper that he believes cycling is in a position for a fresh start after recent doping scandals.
"I've known for many years it was a time bomb that would eventually go off," said three-time Tour de France winner LeMond about the use of doping to the Tuscon Citizen. "And I'm quite happy it has gone off. Now the sport can start over again, go free."
LeMond was set to ride the 109-mile race along with up to a record 10,000 other participants. It was to be his third attempt at the event, but he was realistic about his performance. "I'm 50 pounds [22.7 kg] heavier than at my riding weight," said LeMond, who weights 205 pounds (93 kg).
LPR's signing of Savoldelli confirmed
Reports of the transfer of Paolo Savoldelli to LPR for 2008 were confirmed Saturday with news that the two-time Giro d'Italia winner had signed his contract.
Savoldelli intends to make the Giro his goal again for 2008 after winning in 2002 and 2005 and wearing the maglia rosa for 14 days of his career. "For Italians, the Giro is fascinating. I am hoping organziers will invite my team," said the Italian. He rode for Astana in 2007 and won a time trial stage of this year's edition of the Giro.
Despite having raced as a pro since 1996, Savoldelli goes into 2008 with the excitement of a young racer. The 34 year-old said, "I cannot contain my enthusiasm. I see the hour when I will return to the saddle. I am getting over a small bout of the flu, but as soon as it passes, I will get back to training."
Larsson to Team CSC
Team CSC signed Swede Gustav Larsson for 2008. Larrson made the top ten in the Deutschland Tour, Tour de Luxembourg and Tour Down Under. He also finished third in the Eneco Tour. Team manager Bjarne Riis highlighted the soon-to-be former Unibet rider's strong time trialling and climbing skills.
"Of course I'm very happy with the contract with Team CSC and I look at it as a fantastic opportunity for me to develop as a rider. Looking from a distance in seems to be a well organized team with a big bunch of impressive riders. At the same time it looks like a team where everyone is working for a common goal and they're still able to make results for themselves as well. I am looking forward to meeting the entire team next week in Norway," said Larsson to team-csc.com.
Vino plans sports training center
By Susan Westemeyer
Alexander Vinokourov is still awaiting word on his fate after his positive test for blood doping during the Tour de France, but he has not entirely turned his back on sport. According to the French newspaper Le Monde, he is planning to build a luxury sports center in Nice, where athletes can train for the 2012 London Olympics. The facility would offer a variety of facilities for various sports.
The center is estimated to cost about 38 million Euro, and "Vino" is said to have invested 1.4 million Euros of his own money in it. However, the project has run into opposition from local politicians who question a training center run by someone who is facing doping charges.
Sinkewitz has been "punished enough"
By Susan Westemeyer
Patrik Sinkewitz is glad to know the verdict in his doping case, even if he is surprised at the extent of his punishment: a one-year ban and a 40,000 Euro fine. "The uncertainty is finally over. I think I have been punished enough. I can live with the one-year ban. But the fine is a shock. I would have wished for a lesser punishment there," he said, according to the dpa press agency.
His suspension was made retroactive to the date his positive test was announced, and he will be eligible to start racing again on July 17, 2008. He regretted that this means that he would be unable to ride the Tour de France next year, "but I think I will have further chances to go to the Tour." He has already started training again, in order to help himself get a contract with a new team. "I hope that the past is over now and that I can concentrate on the future."
He indicated, however, that there was a possibility of further appeals in the case. His attorney, Michael Lehner, noted that the WADA conference being held now in Madrid was considering giving cooperative witnesses a reduced sentence of up to 75 percent, which would mean a six-month ban, which in turn would make Sinkewitz eligible to ride the Tour next year. "If there is a legal basis, we will certainly try to use it," Sinkewitz said.
Mattan and Vanderaerden to stay with DFL / Cyclingnews
Nico Mattan will stay on with team DFL / Cyclingnews / Litespeed next season, but he will assume a public relations role. He will join Eric Vanderaerden and Rudy Dubois on the management side of the team.
The professional continental team is expected to race under a British license according to sportwereld.be. Some riders names mentioned in connection with the team are Geert Verheyen (now Quick Step-Innergetic), Aart Vierhouten, Mark Lotz and Léon van Bon. The team's program, along with expected sponsorship changes are expected to be presented this month.
Gardeyn operation postponed
An operation for 27 year-old Gorik Gardeyn, originally scheduled for Thursday, was postponed by a week due to a meeting of his new Predictor-Lotto team according to TVM. Gardeyn, will undergo an operation on his sinuses. The former Unibet.com rider won stage two of the Tour of Belgium this year.
MTN adds pro women's road team
The MTN professional cycling team will add a women's team led by Cherise Taylor and Marissa van der Merwe for 2008. The pair will be joined by Chrissie Viljoen, Altie Clark and Cashandra Slingerland. It's not only MTN's first women's professional team, but also the first-ever fully professional South African women's team..
"Only a handful of female cyclists in South Africa currently earn their living from cycling and no single team has ever had the budget to ensure all its members can focus on cycling," said MTN Cycling team boss, Douglas Ryder according to www.int.iol.co.za. "The MTN women's team will set a new standard, not only for sponsorship in cycling, but for other sports too."
The 18 year-old Taylor, who won silver at the 2007 junior world championship, has a reputation as a solid all-arounder with ability to climb, time trial and sprint. Van der Merwe was named 2005 Most Promising Women's road cyclist of the year as well as Women's Road Cyclist of the Year.
"It's a very well balanced team," said Clark. "The variety and depth of talent is amazing and sure to be a good recipe for success. We also all get along really well which is essential for harmony both on and off the bike." The team's primary objective will be the Cycling South Africa Pro Series, a points series based on up to a dozen events.
MTN sponsors men's road and mountain bike squads, but it is the first time it will sponsor a women's team. The men's team recently signed David George to bolster its ranks.
MTN Women's Road Team for 2008: Marissa van der Merwe, Cherise Taylor, Cashandra Slingerland, Altie Clark, Chrissie Viljoen under Manager Thinus van der Merwe.
Flexpoint adds Snijder
Following the departure of experienced Swedish racer Susanne Ljungskog, Team Flexpoint added 18 year-old up and coming racer Adriënne Snijder to its team for 2008. The young Dutchwoman picked up seven wins as a junior woman racing during the previous season. She won the Omloop van Stadshagen and also did well at the Asser Jeugdtour.
Sheppard auctions bike to support juniors for worlds
Chris Sheppard (Santa Cruz / CMG Mortgage) will be auctioning one of his Santa Cruz Stigmata 'cross bikes to raise funds to help two junior cyclo-cross racers make the trip to the 2008 World Championships, in Treviso, Italy, on January 26-27. The sport's non-Olympic status means funding, especially for juniors is often tight.
"I won the '91 junior Canadian cross country championships which entitled me to a position on the National Team. If it were not for two generous mountain biking lawyers [Frank Quinn and Russ Candari] I would not have been given an opportunity to chase my dream," said a grateful Sheppard. The completely built 1300g Stigmata frame will be auctioned on E-bay. The winner will also receive a Giro kit consisting of a Pneumo helmet, two bib shorts and jerseys.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)