The correctional court in Rheims has today handed down its judgement in what has become known as the "TVM trial", a case involving three former members of the now defunct Dutch team stemming back to events which happened in 1998. The three were charged with infringing the French anti-doping law, with respect to the possession and distribution of illegal drugs i.e. organised doping.
Former manager Cees Priem has been given an 18 month suspended sentence, combined with a fine of US$10,500. The team doctor, Andrei Mikhailov, was given a 12 month suspended sentence with a US$8,000 fine, and soigneur Jan Moors received a 6 month suspended sentence with a US$1300 fine. In addition, the three have to pay a US$8,400 fine for breaking customs regulations, as well as symbolic damages of 1 franc to the French Cycling Federation (FFC) and the Union Cycliste International (UCI).
The penalties were lower than those asked for by the prosecution and the three have 10 days to appeal the ruling. All three denied any involvement in organised doping during their cross-examinations in May this year, and reaffirmed their denial upon exiting court.
In July 1998 during the Tour de France, police searches of the TVM truck and hotel in Pamiers revealed what was called a "truck of pharmaceuticals with some bikes, rather than vice versa." With the Festina affair in full swing, that particular period was rife with rumours of rampant drug use in the peloton, some of which have been proven to be true in court.
There were no properly validated tests to detect EPO and other banned substances at the time, so the prosecution based its case on indirect evidence, implicating Dr Mikhailov as the administrator of the EPO.
Mikhailov stated that there was "never any organised doping within the TVM team" and that these penalties were "severe". He maintained that the EPO found in his car in March 1998 was intended for the use of a Russian hospital for children with leukaemia.
Mikhailov's lawyer, Mr Gombert pleaded the fact that no doping with EPO could be proved, and that the products seized in Pamiers were only "restoratives."
"But the wind of the Festina affair did not blow any common sense into them", he finished.
Australian Nathan O'Neill (Panaria) has broken his collarbone in a race in Australia (T.I. Sports/Easton Elite Series #3: Tour Of The Highlands) on the weekend. Taking place in his home state of Queensland, the race drew several top level state riders. A breakaway went after 55 kilometres, and O'Neill chased it down, only to have his musette become entangled in his wheel, bringing him down where he suffered lacerations plus a broken collar bone. These injuries will no doubt put paid to his return to Europe this week in his lead up to the Tour of Spain.
Full race report
Top Colombian division III squad have gained an invitation to the prestigious race for up an coming riders, the Tour de l'Avenir in France. Taking place from September 6-15, the race is often attended by division I and II directeurs sportifs sporting looking for young riders for next season.
The Orbitel team consists of: Marlon Perez, Luis Oran Castañeda, Alejandro Ivan Cortes, Jorge Ivan Gonzalez, Javier Gonzalez, Jhonny Leal. Reserves: Oscar Alvarez, Edilberto Suarez; Cesar Laverde. Director: Raul Mesa Orozco.
Major Races and Events
September 7-29, 2002: Vuelta a España (GT) - Preview, stage list
May 11-June 2, 2002: Giro d'Italia (GT) - Preview, stage list, photos
July 6-28, 2002: Tour de France (GT) - Full preview & official route details
December 8: Superprestige Rd 5 (Cat. 1) - Erwin Vervecken
November 29-December 4: Six Days of Noumea (6D) - Sassone/Neuville victorious
November 26-December 1: Six Days of Zurich (6D) - Day 6 - McGrory/Gilmore/Schnider win
December 1: Melbourne Cup on Wheels (IM) - Scott Moller, Keirin, Sprint, Support races
December 2: Cyclo-cross World Cup #2 (CDM) - Sven Nijs again
November 24-December 3: Juegos Deportivos Centroamericanos (JR) - Final results
December 8-9: Frankfurter Rad-Cross (Cat. 2) - Alex Mudroch, UK National Trophy Series #4 (Cat. 3) - Roger Hammond, Grote Prijs Industrie Bosduin - Kalmthout (Cat. 1) - Bart Wellens, Int. Radquer Obergösgen (Cat. 2) - Björn Rondelez, Trofeo Mamma e Papa Guerciotti (Cat. 3) - Enrico Franzoi, Premio Egondo (Cat 3) - David Seco, Irish cyclo-cross championships - Robin Seymour
Results: local racing
Australia - CycleWest Promotions Omnium Series #2, Eastern Suburbs Summer Criterium Series, Carnegie Caulfield Tuesday criterium, Southern Cross Junior Track Open & Madison Cup, Manly Warringah CC, George Town Track Carnival, Carnegie Caulfield CC, Randwick Botany CC, Gold Coast CATS CC, Caesar's Illawarra CC, Caesar's Illawarra (track)
Denmark - Danish cyclo-cross Post Cup #3
Italy - Gran Premio Città di Bassano
Luxembourg - GP De Kopstal
New Zealand - Cyco Criterium series
Spain - Elorrio cyclo-cross
USA - Georgia Cross Series Championship, Chimborazo Grand Prix cyclo-cross, Boulder Cross Rd 6, New Mexico State Cyclo-x Champs, Sorrento Cyclo-x & California State Champ's, Boulder Cross Rd 5, Verge New England series, Northampton CC Cyclo-cross Championships, Chris Cross International CycloCross
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