First Edition Cycling News, October 15, 2008
Edited by Les Clarke
UCI to introduce four-year ban in '09
By Shane Stokes
Following the positive A sample tests for CERA by Tour de France stars Stefan Schumacher and podium-finisher Bernhard Kohl, UCI President Pat McQuaid has confirmed that the UCI will double its maximum sanction for doping cases next season.
A four-year suspension could effectively end the career of positive riders and should act as a strong deterrent. McQuaid told Cyclingnews on Tuesday that he'd personally opt for life bans if possible, but that WADA rules had to be followed.
"I have said before that I would like to see them out of the sport for good. That is purely on a personal level," he stated. "However, we are obliged to follow the world anti-doping code, and that is what the UCI will do. Currently the world anti-doping code gives a maximum two-year sanction in the case of a positive test. From the first of January there is a bit more flexibility in it, and we can go up to a four year ban in the cases of something regarded as willful cheating.
"In these cases [Kohl and Schumacher], considering that these guys were given the product and then went and took it for the Tour de France, it would be very much classified as willful cheating. Next year a rider in that position would face a four year ban.
He acknowledged that the two Gerolsteiner riders were not yet in a position where they can be sanctioned. "Of course, you have to bear in mind that these guys have to go through due process," he continued. "Once that process is finished and if they are proven guilty, I on a personal level – and probably everyone else in the cycling family – don't want to see them back in cycling again."
Recent evaluation of Tour de France blood samples revealed that three more riders had taken the third generation EPO drug CERA, with Leonardo Piepoli, Schumacher and Kohl joining the previous positive case of Riccardo Riccò. Giro d'Italia sensation Emanuele Sella was also caught by the earlier analysis, although he did not compete in this year's Tour. Like Kohl in France in July, he was best climber in the Italian Grand Tour.
Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for a full feature on this latest development.
Rasmussen bound for CAS?
Michael Rasmussen looks set to challenge his suspension in the Court of Arbitration for Sport on November 14, according to a statement by the legal institute in Lausanne issued Tuesday.
On July 1 this year the former Rabobank rider was suspended by the cycling federation of Monaco for two years, the ban retroactively dated to July 2007. During last year's Tour de France the Dane was ejected from the race by his team management for misleading authorities about his whereabouts in relation to out-of-competition testing.
He was sacked by the Dutch team following the Tour and the winner of King of the Mountains classification at the 2005 and '06 Tours de France subsequently sued for damages. The day after his suspension was imposed, Rabobank was forced to pay him 700,000 euro as a result of civil proceedings against the team.
Bordry comments on Tour's retrospective testing
As reported in yesterday's Latest Cycling News the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) has completed re-testing samples taken during this year's Tour de France for CERA. This comes after the International Olympic Committee stated last week that it will retest samples from the Beijing Games for the presence of this latest doping agent.
AFLD boss Pierre Bordry has explained to AP that the laboratory will retain all samples until next year's race. "The IOC started the trend," said Bordry. "We are stopping the testing for EPO CERA. We consider it sufficient," he added. "I will keep the samples until the next Tour de France in case there are new [testing] procedures that are put into place," he added.
In total, 38 samples have been retested for CERA, with Bernard Kohl, Stefan Schumacher, Riccardo Riccò and Leonardo Piepoli all testing positive for the latest generation of EPO. Each had their samples tested twice; before and during the Tour.
Bordry pointed out that samples from the 2007 edition could also be tested again, although that decision would ultimately be made by the UCI. During last year's Tour, the sport's governing body was responsible for testing while the AFLD took responsibility for the task. He explained that the 2007 samples were property of the UCI, and that, "It depends what condition they are in, if they have been stored properly. If they have been, it's possible [to retest them]."
Kohl wants B samples tested
Bernhard Kohl has asked the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) to test the B samples of his positive controls for CERA, the Austrian Cycling Federation (ÖRV) announced Tuesday.
After Kohl's manager, Stefan Matschiner, said that the Austrian would make this request, the ÖRV announced that Kohl had done so. "Should these also be positive, then we will move against him as hard as possible," said ÖRV President Otto Flum.
Flum added that he had talked to Kohl "and advised him to lay his cards on the table and name the people in the background. Now it is up to him, how he and his manager plan to go from here." (SW)
By Susan Westemeyer
Team Gerolsteiner has pulled out of the Giro di Lombardia this weekend, making last Sunday's Paris-Tours its final race ever.
"The withdrawal of Gerolsteiner from the Giro of Lombardia is because the team strictly follows the internal regulations of the MPCC," team spokesman Jörg Grünefeld told Cyclingnews. Those regulations call for an "automatic suspension of the whole team for eight days when there are two positive tests results within 12 months."
One of Kohl's Gerolsteiner teammates, Markus Fothen, told the dpa agency that he was "speechless" on hearing the news. Especially since Kohl, "had tears in his eyes during the Tour as we all raged against the dopers," because "they are destroying everything."
Fothen said that he was worried about the sport's future, saying, "We still haven't reached the bottom." The public opinion about cycling is such now that he did not wear clothes with the team name on it when he he traveled to Paris-Tours last weekend because, "I wanted to avoid the expected comments."
Slippens and Stam reunited
In anticipation of the opening event of the six-day season, the Amsterdam Six, De Telegraaf has reported that one of the circuits's most successful duos – Danny Stam and Robert Slippens – will be reunited in competition.
In August 2006 Slippens broke ten ribs, crushed his collarbone and perforated his lung in a heavy fall. His rehabilitation took more than a year and even after his comeback Slippens hadn't returned to his previous level. The Dutch daily is calling this six-day season 'the winter of truth' for the pair.
Stam and Slippens have experienced the rapid highs and lows of the sport. In 2003 the Dutch pair was amongst the best on the six-day circuit and in the Amsterdam Six that year the pair won the first of their career six-day wins. That was followed up by victories in Bremen, Gent, Rotterdam, Berlin and Copenhagen before Slippens' terrible accident.
During a summer training camp in Italy the pair came to terms with what had happened since Slippens' fall. "In the car, we told each other the truth," explained Slippens. "After that fall it was very difficult for me mentally. I had doubts whether I was physically able to perform over the course of a long winter. Danny was really against me stopping, saying that I shouldn't give up, and the we must agree to turn things around. That was also the time for me to really have a go at getting back to full strength."
"I also know that Danny has not had it easy. It's also his bread. He has to look after a family and if you're no longer a top team, you just earn a lot less money," added Slippens.
"It's not always easy to be friends when you have a business relationship," said Stam. "You don't want to hurt each other. Yet you know what's best [for each other] and you are just speak honestly. We have done that. I have also questioned whether it would work between Robert and me, especially after Rotterdam this year. You wonder whether both of us have the high level we had two years ago.
"But you can't just throw away what we have built up over ten years. Something special grew in those years, therefore we'll try racing together again this winter. Then we'll evaluate things; it will come down to us actually winning another six-day, otherwise we haven't achieved the required level."
The Amsterdam season opener will feature Stam and Slippens, in addition to Paolo Bettini, Olympic champions Joan Llaneras and Jason Kenny, plus perennial sprint favourite Theo Bos.
Stuttgart six-day cancelled
In more unfortunate six-day news however, this season's Stuttgart Six – due to take place from January 15-20 – has been cancelled due to the recent scandals surrounding Bernard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher.
Event organisers explained that sponsors would be difficult to find and fans may boycott the racing given the plethora of negative headlines emanating from the sport. "Professional cycling has a huge image problem; currently we can nothing to change this," said a spokesperson.
Manchester prepares for World Cup
Manchester track world cup organiser British Cycling Events has today announced that a host of Olympic stars will be riding at the event from October 31 – November 2 at Manchester Velodrome.
British Olympic riders such as Geraint Thomas, Chris Newton and Ross Edgar will be joined by Beijing teammates that include Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Victoria Pendleton. Up against the British juggernaut will be world cup stalwarts such as Dutchman Teun Mulder, Argentinian Walter Perez and Ukraine's Lesya Kalitovsyka. British Cycling Events director Peter King said, "We are really looking forward to seeing some of the world's top track cyclists in action at the Manchester Velodrome, the home of British Cycling."
Triple Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy will not ride at the event, but will make special guest appearances on October 31 and November 2 to sign autographs.
Tickets for the event sold out in record time, however extra sales of Silver Club hospitality are now available. Tickets cost £35 each and include exclusive track centre access, a light buffet prepared by a top chef and complimentary drinks. Tickets can be purchased from Nicola Rolph on 0161 274 2026 or firstname.lastname@example.org
BBC TV will also be broadcasting live on BBC Interactive 7pm-10.40pm on October 31 and 7pm-10.20pm November 1. Highlights from Friday and Saturday's action with live coverage of Sunday's races will be shown on November 2, 2pm-5pm.
See www.trackworldcup.co.uk for more information.
Denmark searches for new national track coach
Danish national track coach Heiko Salzwedel is leaving his current post when his contract expires on December 31. Salzwedel has been in charge of the national track team since 2005, overseeing its most successful period ever. He has helped deliver several world championship medals and an Olympic silver medal in the men's team pursuit in Beijing.
"I am absolutely satisfied, although working on a tight budget, with the ongoing support from the Danish Cycling Federation during the last couple of years," said Salzwedel to the Danish national federation's website, CyclingWorld.dk. "I am looking for a long time solution, with some clear opportunities in my career as a coach. This is currently not wanted in Denmark, therefore, I have to look for a solution outside of Denmark."
Federation boss Jesper Worre said that, "We are looking for an international profile with the same skills as Heiko, and we are interested in hearing from candidates."
Cyclingnews online production editor required - Australia
Work on the world's leading cycling web site
Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling web site, is expanding and is looking for a full time online production editor based in Sydney, Australia.
The position requires applicants to have a keen interest and thorough knowledge of competitive cycling, as well as editorial or writing experience with excellent English skills. The position will involve producing reports, results, photos and features from the world of cycling, so fluency in a second language is also an advantage, as is a familiarity with online production techniques, experience in journalism and attention to detail.
The applicants will need to be self-starters as the position involves regular liaison with production editors in all Cyclingnews offices. As Cyclingnews is a 24/7 daily news operation, the position will require regular weekend work. The weekend duties are handled on a rotating shift basis with other production editors, so the applicant must be flexible in their work schedule. However, the majority of work will be done during normal business hours on week-days.
The online editors will be required to have familiarity with online production applications (a good working knowledge of HTML and Photoshop are important skills) and could also be required to attend major cycling events in each region. However, the primary responsibility is the production of content for publication on the web site. Training in online production techniques can be provided to the right applicant, ability to handle the technical processes involved and an ability to communicate are required.
Please send your CV with a covering letter via e-mail to email@example.com with "Cyclingnews online editing position - " in the subject line. Deadline for applications is October 15, 2008.
(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)