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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

News for July 14, 2002

Edited by Anthony Tan

Pantani, Zanini cleared by CAS, Mondini's suspension confirmed

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has acquitted Marco Pantani for the incident involving a syringe containing insulin, found in its hotel room at Montecatini Terme during the 2001 Giro d'Italia.

When Pantani was first charged with possession of illegal substances by CAS on the June 17 last year, he initially faced an eight-month suspension (the Italian Olympic Committee CONI, asked for the sentence to be extended to one year). However "il Pirata" has now been acquitted of all charges, on the grounds that the room where the syringe was found was in fact not his hotel room, and no witness to the drug raid saw Pantani enter or exit that room - therefore there is no certainty that he was in possession of illegal substances.

In addition to the acquittal of Pantani, CAS president Luigi Renga read a statement for the acquittal of Stefano Zanini, who was sentenced for six months on similar charges. CAS also confirmed that ex-US Postal rider Giampaolo Mondini will face a nine month suspension, to end no earlier than May 7, 2003 for the possession of doping substances.

Chaba Jiménez back on track

Popular Spanish rider José María 'Chaba' Jiménez, who has been suffering with depression since January this year, appears to be returning to his old self once again.

Directeur-sportif Eusebio Unzúe received a telephone call from Chaba in early February this year, shortly after the official team presentation, where Jiménez declared that he was aiming for victory at either the Mount Ventoux stage of the Tour de France or a podium finish.

"I am depressed, I cannot train - there are days where I cannot even get out of bed," Chaba told his boss. At the time, Unzúe was extremely understanding, telling Jiménez "not to hurry - try and recuperate; there is plenty of time to return to training."

That telephone call was five months ago, so it was particularly comforting for Unzúe to hear Chaba's recent words yesterday, speaking of a return to normality. The rider told Spanish paper Marca that "I will return to enjoy life, because for many months it has not been the case. I have finally left the depression that I have had, thanks to the doctors who have returned me back to my former self," declared Chaba vigilantly.

Jiménez affirmed that he has returned to training in the gymnasium for three hours each day, and physically he feels well. However he realises that depression is not like "breaking your clavicle - with this you know that they operate on you and you can ride your bike again in ten days time".

"I am a very motivated person and it has taken everything in me to overcome the depression - I realise I cannot throw overboard 13 years of cycling," concluded Jiménez.

NZ track coach ordered home

In what is believed to have been the result of an altercation in a restaurant between New Zealand track cycling endurance coach Gary Anderson and a fellow cyclist, Anderson has been ordered to return home by head coach Max Vertongen.

Anderson's agent Glenda Hughes said that Anderson "had been under fairly tough personal pressures for the past three or four months," and "from what Max [Vertongen] said to me was that it got to the stage where he was having difficulty working with the team and it was decided that it would be better that he returned home".

Vertongen, physiotherapist Mark Hollands and mechanic Dale Hollows mutually decided on Anderson's fate, with the former Olympic bronze medallist returning to Wanganui yesterday.

The rest of the New Zealand track squad is due to arrive in Manchester on July 21.

Jeanson to miss Commonwealth Games

The leader of the RONA Cycling Team, Geneviève Jeanson, will miss the Commonwealth Games to be held in Manchester, Great Britain due to a recurring knee injury.

According to team management at RONA, Canadian Jeanson has tendonitis behind her left knee, the cause of which is yet unknown. Jeanson first experienced the pain during the final stage of the HP Women's Challenge on June 23. The pain subsided shortly after the race but then reappeared during the Fitchburg Longsjo Bicycle Classic the following week.

"I am extremely disappointed by this turn of events" said Jeanson. "This injury happens at the worst of times, because the Commonwealth Games were one of my main objectives for this season. I will now treat my injury as best as I can, and hope to be competitive for the Canadian Championships." The Canadian Road Nationals will be held August 8-11 in Oxford County, near London, Ontario.

The RONA Cycling Team will still be represented in Manchester by Melissa Holt, who will participate as a member of the New Zealand national team. Holt is the current New Zealand national champion both on the road and the time trial.

World Masters Track Champs in Manchester

The 8th edition of the World Masters Track Cycling Championships, catering to elite track cyclists over 30 years old, will take place in Manchester from September 15-21 this year.

Those riders who are considering to compete in the championships for the first time can receive information, regulations and entry forms from the events website at or by sending a self-addressed envelope to World Masters Cycling, PO Box 329, Stockton on Tees TS15 9GS. England. All past entrants should have now received details, including entry forms and regulations on the event. Spectators can obtain details closer to the event from Manchester Velodrome or the event website.

Sponsors are still sought for the event with trackside advertising still available. All interested companies should contact the Championship Director, Brian Cossavella by email on:


(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2002)