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Edited by John Stevenson
Italian rider Filippo Simeoni has admitted to taking EPO and growth hormone under the instruction of Italian sports doctor Michele Ferrari, in the latest stage of the hearings against Ferrari in Bologna, yesterday. Ferrari is accused of sporting fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist.
Simeoni, who is riding for Mario Cipollini's Acqua e Sapone team this year, said that he started taking drugs in 1993, and in 1996-7 Ferrari prescribed him EPO and human growth hormone. "I started to go to DR Ferrari in November 1996 because I'd heard he was very good, very professional. I went to Ferrara (where Ferrari had his office) and the doctor set me up with a training program, including levels of progression."
Simeoni said he had initially been prescribed EPO, and in March and April of 1997, "we spoke about andriol (testosterone) which I was to use after hard training sessions with the aim of increasing my muscular power."
Simeoni said he obtained the drugs from pharmacies in Switzerland, and his visits to Ferrari were paid for by Carrera, his team at the time. When the team refused to pay for another year, Simeoni said he stopped seeing Ferrari.
The magistrates produced as evidence instructions for the rider, allegedly written by Ferrari, marked with asterisks. The magistrate asked if these asterisks indicated illicit substances.
"They indicated I was to take andriol after long rides, of five or six hours," said Simeoni. "DR Ferrari told me to be careful not to take testosterone too close to competitions to avoid being controlled positive."
"To avoid possible problems, DR Ferrari recommended I use Emagel the morning before controls, and another product to decrease my haematocrit."
After giving evidence, Simeoni said, "I decided to tell the truth to break the 'omerta' in the hope that it can help to fight the problem of doping which involves cycling and sport in general."
"It's difficult to fight doping but to do so we have to improve the controls. It's very expensive and it's not easy but it's the best thing to do. Unfortunately, doping techniques always travel faster than anti-doping tests."
Simeoni told journalists that he had not been subjected to any pressure by his fellow riders after he had made the decision to testify. "I think most of them are on my side because they've all dedicated their lives to cycling and love this sport. It's in their interests that we're protected."
The case continues on February 19 with the testimony of Gianluca Bortolami (Tacconi), originally scheduled to testify yesterday, and others.
By Gerard Cromwell
Just when you thought it was safe to take that old dusty bike out of the shed and apply for an Irish third category licence, the competition seems to be hotting up already.
Last night at the launch of Cycling Ireland in Dublin, former world Number One Sean Kelly was asked a seemingly innocuous question by RTE's Jimmy McGee. Did he ever think about racing again? "Well, yes," said the four times Tour De France points jersey winner. "I've often thought about it all right. But then, when you go out with some of the lads who are going to be racing and you get a hammering, you don't be long about changing your mind!"
"So you're not going to ride the FBD Milk Ras then Sean?" enquired Jimmy as the laughter died.
"No. There was talk of me riding the Ras, but I just don't have the condition. If there was time for me to train, then yes I could do it. But I'm away for maybe five weeks on the road and in cycling you can't go away for so long because you lose so much fitness it just wouldn't be worth it. You lose your fitness so quickly and it's so hard to get it back, it's just not fair really."
"I'd say there's a couple of hundred people who'll be delighted you're not riding the Ras" answered Jimmy to guffaws of laughter.
"Well," continued Kelly "there's a new category starting up. A third category, which is going to be veterans and that, so, I might ride a few races. I'll see."
As Mr. Kelly is now over 40 years of age, a veteran, there is nothing to stop him competing in this category. So if you're coming to the finish of the Gorey 3-Day and you think you recognise the heaving, bulking mass of muscle beside you with his head down, arse up and elbows out, you're not suddenly hallucinating due to the severity of the course. The man the French called "Le cannibal" is back.
Forewarned is forearmed as they say.
A memorial Mass will be held February 16 in Salt Lake City for Erhard M. "Butch" Neumann, a member of the 1956 US Olympic cycling team. Neumann died of an apparent heart attack on January 28 while skiing in Utah. He was 69.
Originally from St Louis, Missouri, Neumann studied metallurgy at the University of Missouri at Rolla, graduating in 1956. While at university he developed into a star athlete, riding for the US at the Melbourne Olympics and for the 1957 World Cycling Team. He then spent 36 years at a Missouri metallurgy company before retiring in 1998 to Draper, Utah.
Portuguese rider Candido Barbosa (LA Pecol) has taken another stage win in the Volta ao Algarve, and put himself into the overall lead in the process. Barbosa out-sprinted Isaac Galvez (Kelme-Costa Blanca) on the line.
Click here for report & full results
By John Stevenson
The latest in our series on pro team bikes is a legend of the peloton, ridden by one of the most powerful teams in pro racing and of course we can't resist a mention of the way C40s just happen to be lying around at the roadside when a team member needs a spare Mapei team issue Colnago C40.
Holders of BMX licenses will be able to race dual slalom, downhill and mountain cross at this year's Sea Otter after an agreement between mountain bike body NORBA and BMX body National Bicycle League brokered by the Sea Otter organisers.
Although the two organisations are both under the USA Cycling umbrella, stumbling blocks over insurance and rider categories made accommodating NBL license holders difficult for Sea Otter organisers. But in an arrangement worked out between NORBA Competition Director Eric Moore, NBL Managing Director Bob Tedesco and Sea Otter Classic staff, NBL licensees will be able to race with a single-event license for the Sea Otter at no cost.
What's in it for the two parties? "It offers exposure to the other disciplines," said Tedesco of what the Sea Otter has to offer BMX racers. "In BMX we have children from 5 to 65 and we think it's a natural transition to the other sports. Sea Otter gives us recognition in the cycling world." "From our standpoint we're all about getting more kids involved," said Moore. "We're reducing the barriers to be associated with NORBA."
Tedesco noted that BMX had been integrated into the Sea Otter program several years ago, but due to difficulty with locating a track in the venue those events were phased out. Nonetheless Tedesco remained in regular contact with Rick Sutton of the Sea Otter. For Sutton, BMX represents the future generations of cyclists. "There's so much to learn from BMX, from riding to promotion, that we couldn't ignore it," said Sutton. "They have grassroots promotions down solid. All of cycling should be looking for ways to hook up their events to the BMX world."
There is a new team in for the 2002 season. The Cicli Casati Cycling Team is proudly sponsored by Casati Bicycles of Monza, Italy and will be aboard its sponsor's Challenge bike, a lightweight aluminium frame of Dedaccai SC61.10A scandium/aluminium tubing with a Casati carbon fork and integrated Campagnolo Hiddenset.
The gold and black Casati colors will be seen in races from Arizona to Idaho in 2002. Team co-manager Chris McGee said,"We look forward to seeing you on the roads of the American West!"
Category 1/2 riders
Joseph (Joby) Siciliano
Chris McGee (CO-Manager)
Category 3 riders
AJ Eschwig (CO-Manager)
Frames & Forks: Casati Bicycles
Seatposts & Stems: Thomson
Computers, Heart Rate Monitors, and Lights: Cateye
Nutrition: Jamba Juice
Skewers, Water Bottles and Bar Tape: Salsa
Custom Graphics & Stickers: Victory Circle Graphix
Tech Support: Green Mountain Sports, Lakewood, Colorado
Race Clothing: MB Maglieria