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News for July 13, 2000

The Sainz doping affair fizzles

The business involving French sports 'doctor', Bernard Sainz "Dr Mabuse" made headlines in May last year when it was alleged that he administered illegal drugs to several of his patients, including Frank Vandenbroucke and Philippe Gaumont of Cofidis, and Yvon Ledanois (Francaise des Jeux). The affair led to Cofidis suspending VDB and Gaumont, and a full investigation was launch into the dealings of Sainz and his business partner, Bertrand Lavelot, a sports lawyer.

Vandenbroucke and Gaumont claimed that they did not know about any illegal products, and that the treatments given to them by Sainz were merely homeopathic treatments. VDB claimed that he was "naive" but not dishonest in using Sainz as a consultant, but he was impressed at his results. VDB had a strong first half of the season after he gave up his usual recovery products and adhered to the methods of Sainz. After his suspension, he came back quite strongly in the Vuelta although he was not involved with DR Mabuse' at that time.

Sainz was accused of possessing and administering testosterone and corticoids after ten used syringes were found in his offices. "Illegal practice of medicine" was the charge against the horse breeder, and a search of his office revealed several flasks of brown liquid, suspected to also contain illegal substances.

The conclusion of the case came last Monday. Analysis of the syringes revealed that testosterone and corticoids were present, but Sainz claimed they were used for other reasons. The testosterone was for "personal use" to increase sexual performance, and the corticoids were for treating his injured horses. The brown liquid in the flasks contained caffeine, vegetable extracts and alcohol - not considered to be doping products. Neither did they contain masking substances after further tests were carried out. Scientific experts could not determine the origin (human or animal) of the DNA found on the syringes belonging to Sainz so the case was shelved.

Somarriba does it again

Overall winner of the women's Giro d'Italia (Giro d'Italia Femminile) last Sunday, Spaniard Joane Somarriba said that to win this year was significantly harder than last. Her 1999 victory meant that she was more heavily marked in this year's race, and was "attacked at every moment," according to an interview with the Spanish EFE newsagency.

"I gained the Maglia Rosa in the time trial on Sunday (July 2) but I did not dominate like last year, when everything was decided in one stage," she said. "The key stage was the time trial because it gave me the impulse to win. When I arrived at the finish with the best time and looked at what I'd done, it was a great morale boost."

She added that she rode well in the subsequent mountain stages, in particular the one to Monte Bondone where she took time out of second placed Alessandra Cappellotto (Gas Sport team) on the second last day. She plans now to recover from her efforts, which resulted in a bout of the 'flu in the final days of the Giro. Next on the agenda is the women's Thuringen Rundfahrt, in Germany which will be followed by the Tour de France (La Grand Boucle Feminin) in August. In that race, she may be helping her Lithuanian Alfa Lum teammate, Edita Pucinskaite (3rd in the Giro) who is very motivated to win it.

Tour Down Under easier in 2001

The first major international stage race of the year will once again be the Tour Down Under in South Australia. This UCI class 2.3 event has been held twice previously, and will run from January 16-21 in 2001. It starts with a circuit race in Glenelg, finishing 6 days later with a similar race in Adelaide after a total of 750 kilometres of racing.

The intervening stages have been scaled back a little though, as the race was considered too challenging for many competitors at such an early part of the year. Some of the hills have been taken out, although the most popular ones will be left in.

Race director Mike Turtur will once again be trying to attract some big names from Europe including the Telekom team with the likes of Erik Zabel and Steffen Wesemann, winners of stages in this year's event. Also on his list this time are the US Postal team, who may be looking to get some quality training in the sun. 1998 winner and runner up in 1999, Stuart O'Grady (Credit Agricole) is of course a major drawcard for the event, being of South Australian origin, and Turtur will be keen to line up the 26 year old.

The stages (distances to be determined)

Stage 1 - January 16: Glenelg Street Race
Stage 2 - January 17: Norwood to Murray Bridge
Stage 3 - January 18: McLaren Vale to Victor Harbor,
Stage 4 - January 19: Unley to Strathalbyn
Stage 5 - January 20: Gawler to Tanunda
Stage 6 - January 21: City of Adelaide Circuit

Total: 750 km

US National series rankings - July 10, 2000

Men

1 Henk Vogels (Aus) Mercury                                 945 pts
2 Gord Fraser (Can) Mercury                                 863
3 Trent Klasna (USA) Saturn                                 817
4 John Lieswyn (USA) Shaklee                                786
5 Eddy Gragus (USA) Jelly Belly                             654
6 Fred Rodriguez (USA) Mapei Quick Step                     648
7 Antonio Cruz (USA) Saturn                                 578
8 Eric Wohlberg (Can) Shaklee                               532
9 Scott Moninger (USA) Mercury                              529
10 Chris Horner (USA) Mercury                               438
11 Vasily Davidenko (Rus) Navigators                        381
12 George Hincapie (USA) U.S. Postal Service                364
13 Graeme Miller (NZl) Shaklee                              340
14 Mark McCormack (USA) Saturn                              339
15 Adham Sbeih (USA) Navigators                             339
16 Nicolaj Bo Larsen (Den) Memorycard-Jack&Jones            327
17 Clark Sheehan (USA) 7-Up-Colorado Cyclist                314
18 Piotr Wadecki (Pol) MROZ-Supradyn                        290
19 Harm Jansen (Ned) Saturn                                 283
20 Kevin Monahan (USA) 7-Up-Colorado Cyclist                254

Women

1 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O-Lorena                   1,090 pts
2 Tina Mayolo-Pic (USA) autotrader.com                    1,025
3 Anna Wilson (Aus) Saturn                                  994
4 Petra Rossner (Ger) Saturn                                798
5 Mari Holden (USA) Timex                                   672
6 Jeannie Longo (Fra) Vitall-Jeanielongo.com-Office Depot   645
7 Sarah Ulmer (NZl) Elita                                   638
8 Nicole Reinhart (USA) Saturn                              591
9 Pam Schuster (USA) autotrader.com                         553
10 Karen Kurreck (USA) Alto Velo                            500
11 Lyne Bessette (Can) Saturn                               478
12 Dede Demet Barry (USA) Saturn                            425
13 Vera Hohlfeld (Ger) Acca Due O-Lorena                    394
14 Katrina Berger (USA) Charles Schwab                      378
15 Julie Young (USA) autotrader.com                         375
16 Clara Hughes (Can) Saturn                                351
17 Kim Smith (USA) Timex                                    348
18 Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Ger) German National Team           345
19 Andrea Ratkovic (USA) autotrader.com                     341
20 Suzy Pryde (NZl) Saturn                                  331

Men's teams

1 Mercury                                                 2,985 pts
2 Saturn                                                  2,229
3 Shaklee                                                 2,130
4 Navigators                                              1,235
5 Jelly Belly                                             1,087
6 7-Up-Colorado Cyclist                                     969
7 U.S. Postal Service                                       927
8 Mapei-Quick Step                                          708
9 MROZ-Supradyn                                             705
10 Memory Card-Jack&Jones                                   662
11 Saeco-Valli & Valli                                      573
12 Nutra-Fig                                                360
13 CCB Volkswagen                                           303
14 Mercy Fitness Cycling                                    274
15 Team Snow Valley                                         206

Women's teams

1 Saturn                                                  3,286 pts
2 autotrader.com                                          2,510
3 Elita                                                   1,531
4 Timex                                                   1,429
5 Charles Schwab                                          1,422
6 HP Lithuania-France                                     1,235
7 German National Team                                      816
8 Great Britain Natl Team                                   736
9 Office Depot                                              638
10 Master Carpe Diem                                        510
11 Acca Due O-Lorena                                        440
12 Alto Velo                                                314
13 800.com                                                  308
14 Procter & Gamble                                         308
15 Dutch National Team                                      293

De Bie to coach 'cross team

Former world cyclocross champion, Danny De Bie will be the coach of the new Belgian cyclocross team, Spaar Select. The team has U23 World Champion, Bart Wellens, Peter Van Santvliet and Wim de Vos in its ranks.