Latest News for September 25, 2003
Edited by Jeff Jones
WADA makes "mistake" with new approach to doping
Unrestricted use of stimulants allowed next year
By Gerard Knapp
The decision by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to remove caffeine and pseudoephedrine from the list of banned and restricted substances has been criticized by sports scientists and cycling coaches, who described it as a "mistake" that will encourage the abuse of two well-known and freely-available stimulants.
However, come January 1, 2004 - when the "WADA List" effectively replaces what's called the "IOC List" - any athlete will be allowed to use unrestricted quantities of performance enhancing substances that are still either illegal or allowed in limited quantities (see earlier story).
The decision stunned Dr Dave Martin, a senior sport physiologist with the Australian Institute of Sport who's worked with many elite cyclists. He told Cyclingnews, "this really lifts the lid off the box, doesn't it"? Dr Martin predicted that from next year athletes will use the stimulants regularly and they "will become a standard part of rider preparation".
Click here for full report.
Australia gets its first EPO case
By Gerard Knapp
Victorian track cyclist Robert Wilson has become the first Australian cyclist to test positive for EPO, following an out of competition test on May 15 this year.
Rumours of the positive result had circulated in the Australian cycling community for some time. The national cycling body was informed in late June of the test results and today, the CEO of Cycling Australia, Graham Fredericks, confirmed to Cyclingnews that Wilson had tested positive.
Later in the day Cycling Australia issued an official release stating that Wilson will serve a two-year suspension. It was understood that a delay in announcing the positive test was a result of improper treatment of the rider's B sample, but the test results have finally indicated the presence of the performance-enhancing blood doping agent EPO (erythropoietin).
Wilson was part of the gold medal-winning Victorian team pursuit squad at the Australian and Oceania Track Cycling championships, held from April 30 to May 3 this year. The Victorian quartet posted a time of 4.14.517 to win the gold medal ahead of a team entered from New Zealand.
Fredericks told Cyclingnews "I understand he was tested at the nationals" but did not return a positive result. As the positive sample was a result of an out-of-competition test after the championships, Cycling Australia will not act retrospectively to strip him and the Victorian team of their medals.
"There will be no change to the final result of the team pursuit," Fredericks said. "He'll get to keep his medal."
Tests conducted in Australia by ASDA (Australian Sports Drug Agency) follow the two-stage process conducted by the UCI, whereby riders' blood is tested for abnormalities and if there are indications of excessive red blood cell production, the rider is then required to provide a urine sample.
Clearly disappointed with having to confirm the result, Fredericks said, "yes, you are disappointed (with a cyclist testing positive), but what it shows that if you test them, you catch them."
"What would have been worse was if he had got away with it," Fredericks added.
At the nationals, Cyclingnews' Anthony Tan reported on Wilson's dominance in the team pursuit final. The report said: '"It's just been a nine-week whirlwind," said a starry-eyed Robert Wilson, referring to his limited preparation and relative greenness leading up to the event. "I've never done a Team Pursuit before, but in the last two months, we've really hammered down and did as much [training] as we could because I knew we'd get better every time we trained together."'
The report continued: 'While the saying "you're only as good as your fourth man" certainly holds true in the Teams Pursuit, Victorian locomotive Robert Wilson was definitely the strongest of the four throughout, with Christopher Carr (who recently signed a professional road contract with Giant Asia) and Richard England also providing plenty of horsepower.'
It's understood that Wilson has expressed remorse for his actions and has retired from the sport. However, the case may still be the subject of further scrutiny, as several sources in the Victorian cycling community told Cyclingnews that investigations are continuing into how Wilson acquired the EPO, and more importantly, from whom. Cyclingnews understands that the potential fallout from the alleged supplier may be far greater than his suspension.
De Cauwer counting on Van Petegem, Merckx and Bruylandts
Belgian selector José de Cauwer believes strongly in his team's chances at the World Championships in Hamilton. After yesterday announcing the 12 man team for the elite men's road race, De Cauwer said that "I have a lot of confidence in Van Petegem. If he rides like he did in sprint, he will win the World's. And Bruylandts, he is our joker. Dave is in the form of his life."
De Cauwer is also confident in Jurgen Van Goolen's ability, after his consistent performances this year. "Van Goolen can also do something on this parcours. Maybe I'll keep him in the waiting room until deep in the finale and he could also become a spear point."
On Mario Aerts, De Cauwer said "In the Vuelta he has not yet appealed to me as being super. But he can perhaps be the surprise. Mario is 29 and has won the Flèche Wallonne already. It is that sort of a rider that can make the difference in Hamilton. I have confidence in him and think that he still wants to do a good season."
"I think that we have a terrific team," De Cauwer summed up. "But the big favourites are Spain and Italy."
VDB calls it a season
Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick.Step-Davitamon) will not be racing any more this season, his team confirmed. After abandoning the Vuelta España, Vandenbroucke has not done another race. "Tests show that he is not competition worthy any more," his team director Patrick Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. "Certainly not for confrontations of this level [referring to his scheduled start in the Coppa Sabatini]. Don't forget that he has had to come back a couple of times after sickness. That took a lot out of him."
The Palmans-Collstrop team is seeking a bigger budget in order to increase its strength in Division I. One of its current co-sponsors, MrBookmaker.com, is interested in upping its stake in the team, according to the Belgian media. It is unsure yet whether this would involve a name change for the team or not.
In other news, 29 year old Roger Hammond has extended his contract with the team for another year.
Richard Sachs announces 2003/2004 cyclo-cross team
North American frame builder Richard Sachs has announced his cyclo-cross team for the upcoming winter, which will mark Richard's 12th season of involvement in the sport. Since 1997, the Richard Sachs team has won nine national championships, including Jonathan Page's win at last year's 2002 Elite National's.
"Jonathan has proven to be the most aggressive and consistent cyclocross racer this country has ever produced and we're thrilled to have had him on our Team," said sponsor and team director Richard Sachs in a release. "Jonathan will be moving to the revered, Italian-based Guerciotti professional cyclocross team this season and we wish him and his wife Cori the very best luck."
In the absence of Page, the squad will be comprised of six riders that will contest the entire New England circuit, major UCI events across the US and the National's. Several members also plan to race in Europe after the US Nationals in preparation for the 2004 World Championships.
Katrina Davis (Past Masters National Cyclocross Champion)
Joe Bell Paint (Paint, graphics)
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