News for July 10, 2002

Edited by Jeff Jones

Ullrich goes on holiday

Jan Ullrich, who last Saturday admitted to taking amphetamines after a night out, has gone on holiday with his girlfriend Gaby "in order to clear the head". Ullrich is currently in disgrace with his Telekom team, said that he needs to make a change in his life. "I cannot go on like this any more," he said on his website.

It's rumoured in the German press that he and Gaby have gone to Florida and are planning to get married.

He asked his fans "to have a little patience with me...I will be back, because I want to celebrate many more victories."

New Belgian Division I team announced tomorrow

According to Belgian 'Mecenas' Noel De Meulenaere, there will be a new Belgian Division I squad next season, much to the relief of some of the riders who will be looking for work as a result of the Lotto-Domo merger.

De Meulenaere said he'll be at the Tour tomorrow, to reveal two sponsors, including an existing sponsor of a team and a brand new one. It's not certain yet who the sponsors are, but Belgian parquet floor manufacturing company Quick Step is a strong possibility, although they are also linked with the possible Saeco-Mapei takeover.

Another 2nd category team will be formed as well, to give younger - not necessarily Belgian riders - a go.

Cipollini to race New York City Cycling Championship, but will retire at the end of the season

According to organisers Threshold Sports, "The Lion King" Mario Cipollini, will line up alongside Lance Armstrong and Marty Nothstein, as they race through the streets of Lower Manhattan, in the first ever New York City Cycling Championship Presented by BMC Software on August 4.

Cipollini, who is considered one of the best sprinters in the world, has already won 10 races this year including Milan-San Remo and six Giro d'Italia stages. He will bring his lead out men Mario Scriea and Gabriele Colombo as part of the Acqua e Sapone team.

"I'm ready to face off against Cipollini," said 2000 Olympic sprint gold medalist Marty Nothstein. "The fastest rider in the world, myself, again the world's greatest field sprinter going head to head on the streets of New York City will be unbelievable. I'm glad hes coming."

However, it may be the first and last time that Cipollini competes in the race, as he has also announced that he will retire at the end of the season, due to the "disappointment at not being able to compete for victories in the Tour de France, and the disappointment that the main sponsor of my team has not recognised the value of my sacrifice. This has forced me to take the drastic decision to say 'enough' with cycling. In the next few days, I will explain the motives of this choice," said Cipollini on his website.

Blood tests ok in Giro d'Italia donne

The riders taking part in the Giro d'Italia donne were blood tested today by the UCI before the start of stage 4. 28 riders from the Aliverti Kookai, Team 2002, MeH Figurella, Deia Pragma Colnago, U.S.C. Chirio Forno d'Asolo, Itera and Acca Due O-Pasta Zara teams were tested, and all were declared fit to start the stage.

Tammy Thomas says she shouldn't be banned

U.S. national team member Tammy Thomas, who tested positive for the anabolic steroid Norbolethone on March 12, 2002, has claimed that she shouldn't be banned for life by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Although not explicitly named on the UCI banned list, Norbolethone is considered a "related substance" to other anabolic steroids and is therefore forbidden.

In a recent press statement, Thomas said that "I want to categorically state that I have NEVER used the substance Norbolethone, nor have I ever heard of this substance until I was informed of it's existence by USADA. According to Dr. Catlin of the UCLA IOC Accredited Laboratory, the IOC does not test for this substance."

She goes on to say that "all the supplements and medicinal products that I used were put forth before USADA for review to safeguard myself against the accidental use of banned substances. For the record, at no time did USADA reject of warrant the disuse of any of the products I put before them. One such product was a female contraceptive which I have later learned has a nearly identical chemical structure as the substance in question."

Thomas took silver in the individual sprint at the 2001 World Track Cycling Championships in Antwerp. However, she was not allowed to be part of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team due to high testosterone levels. She intends to fight the proposed life ban until the end.

Mapei-Quick Step for UNIQA classic

The team manager of Mapei-Quick Step, Alvaro Crespi, has decided the squad for the 50th UNIQA classic in Austria, from July 10-13.

Riders : Elio Aggiano, Davide Bramati, Dario Cioni, Cadel Evans, Kevin Hulsmans, Luca Scinto. DS: Jesus Cueva Suarez

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