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Archive for  March 2015

Tuesday 31, Mar 2015

Former Olympic Swimming Champion Apologizes For Doping Ban

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Former Olympic Swimming Champion Apologizes For Doping Ban

South Korean swimmer Park Tae-hwan has offered an impassioned public apology, a few days after he received a doping ban of 18 months from FINA, the world governing body of swimming, for failing a doping test.

The swimmer expressly took complete responsibility for at least putting himself in an awkward position that allowed this situation to happen. Park stated he felt something must have been wrong when he first learned of the test result and added but then he realized that he should have been more careful. The South Korean swimmer said he thinks it is his fault regardless of reasons or processes that things have come to this point. Park Tae-hwan remarked he is sorry for having disappointed his fans and the South Korean people and added that he would like to apologize to the people for causing so much trouble with this unacceptable incident.

In a press conference at the Jamsil Tourist Hotel in Seoul, Park Tae-hwan in trembling voice said all of his honors over the past 10 years have come to nothing and added that all of his efforts just made him a junkie. The swimmer, popularly known as the “Marine Boy“, said since doping is something he has been aware of every day since the 2004 Olympics and added he could neither believe nor accept that this had happened. He went on to remark that aside from the question of intentionality, the very fact that an athlete who represents his country has caused a scandal is shameful and he deeply regrets what he had done.

It was previously claimed by the agency of Park that the positive drug test was due to an injection administered by a local hospital that provided him free chiropractic and other treatments in July.

The former Olympic swimming champion, who won the only ever swimming gold for South Korea in the 400 meters freestyle at the 2008 Beijing Games, tested positive for Testosterone in an out-of-competition drug test on September 3. The 18-month doping ban began retroactively the day of the positive test in early September and will expire on March 2, 2016. The results of Park after September 3, 2014 have been annulled and he would return the three bronze medals he won at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon, Korea.

The Olympic body of South Korea is presently contemplating easing its eligibility rules for athletes entering international competitions that would allow Park Tae-hwan a chance at qualifying for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. Under present anti-doping rules of the country, any athlete suspended for doping is barred from competing with the national team for a period of three years.

In another development, FINA announced that it collected 1,121 doping samples in the year 2014 including the one that caught Park Tae-hwan. FINA said 894 were “Unannounced Out-of-Competition,” while 773 were “In Competition” and these anti-doping tests were in addition to those conducted by other organizations with anti-doping rules, including national Anti-Doping organizations, and the NCAA.

World Record holder Sun Yang, who tested positive for a banned substance in 2014, was tested only three times by FINA while Americans Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps each underwent 4 tests. Yang was banned by the China Anti-Doping Agency after he tested positive for a banned stimulant Trimetazidine. In 2012, Sun Yang became the first Chinese male swimmer to win Olympic gold when took gold in the 400m and 1,500m freestyle events at London 2012.

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Sunday 29, Mar 2015

Nike Criticized For Justin Gatlin Deal

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Nike Criticized For Justin Gatlin Deal

Nike’s decision to sponsor Justin Gatlin has stirred controversy in elite running circles with many top athletes criticizing the deal.

Recently, Nike gave a new sponsorship deal to U.S. sprinter Justin Gatlin who has served a doping ban of four years from 2006 to 2010. In 2006, Nike dropped its initial sponsorship of Gatlin.

Last year, the 33-year-old was the fastest man in the world but many doubted that he will get such a lucrative contract after twice being banned for doping. The American sprinter, who is an Olympic gold medalist in the 100 meters, ran the fastest-ever time for a man over the age of 30 when he ran a time of 9.80 in June 2012 at the US Olympic trials. He went on to become the world leader in the 200 meters on July 18, 2014 when he won his race in 19.68 seconds at the Diamond League event in Monaco.

Jason Gardener, who helped Great Britain to the 4×100-meter relay title at the 2004 Athens Games, remarked nothing surprises me but this another bad message being sent by our sport. Jason pointed to mounting evidence that systematic dopers reaped long-term residual benefits from their cheating and they therefore should receive harsher punishments.

Olympic silver medalist Steve Backley questioned message of Nike to young athletes. Former heptathlete Kelly Sotherton hit out at the deal and remarked what sort of a message is that from Nike signing new sponsorship with multiple drugs cheat Justin Gatlin.

Paula Radcliffe, the world record holder in the women’s marathon who is sponsored by Nike, also expressed her displeasure and said she is very disappointed to hear this news and added that she does not believe it truly reflects the core values of the Nike she is proud to represent, nor the integrity and ideals of the people there that she works with on a daily basis.

In 2001, Justin Gatlin received a brief suspension for an amphetamine contained in an attention deficit disorder drug he had been taking since childhood. On appeal, his suspension was shortened. Gatlin received an eight-year sentence for using “testosterone or its precursor” in 2006 though the athlete denied ever using such a substance. It was claimed by Gatlin’s coach, Trevor Graham, that the athlete had been sabotaged by a massage therapist who rubbed a cream containing testosterone onto Justin Gatlin. His ban was later reduced to four years as he cooperated in providing information to doping authorities and the “exceptional circumstances” of his first ban.

Travis Tygart, the head of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, had remarked Justin Gatlin deserved a second chance after his drug ban. The USADA chief executive refused to read too much into reports that the use of steroids may have long-lasting benefits in an athlete’s body. He had remarked there is some recent science on the effect of steroids on mice, but there is no proof yet it translates to humans and went on to add that if somebody commits a violation, serves a ban and comes back to the sport, part of the rule is this idea of redemption.

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Friday 27, Mar 2015

UK Anti-Doping Chief Expresses Concerns About Steroid Abuse Among Young Rugby Players

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UK Anti-Doping Chief Expresses Concerns About Steroid Abuse Among Young Rugby Players

Nicole Sapstead has vowed to focus on an “increasing and worrying” explosion in use of anabolic steroids in sports by teenagers amid fears that the problem can exacerbate during the Rugby World Cup in England.

The new chief executive of UK Anti-Doping remarked that emphasizing on the growing use of steroids by aspiring athletes in rugby and other sports would be at the heart of her tenure. The UKAD Chief praised the approach taken by the Rugby Football Union and World Rugby at the elite level but said there was “something fundamentally wrong” with aspiring players as young as 14 turning to anabolic steroids to compete.

The UK Anti-Doping has suspended 13 rugby union or league players out of the last 15 doping violations. There have been at least 50 doping bans, of which 28 are being served by British rugby players from either discipline. One of these cases involved Sam Chalmers, the son of the former Scotland and Lions fly-half Craig, who delivered failed drug tests for two anabolic steroids at a Scotland Under-20 training session in May 2013.

The UKAD Chief said the use of anabolic steroids has exploded – look at our findings over the last year, it has increased dramatically and added anabolic steroids are now so easily accessible via the internet. Nicole Sapstead said she is concerned about effect of the increased emphasis on size and strength in the professional era on aspiring players who are watching but admitted that positive tests at the World Cup would be a big surprise. She also remarked it is that level where they’re pushing and pushing and pushing to make the cut where the biggest problem lies and also said that is the same for a number of sports.

Sapstead, who took over as UKAD chief executive, said we are seeing at lower levels of the sport, with young boys in rugby, in rugby league, an increasing and worrying prevalence of steroid abuse particularly when it comes to steroid abuse. She also commented that it is no longer about it being just a sports issue or an anti-doping issue, actually there’s a public health issue here and education and health have to get involved, too. Sapstead also said this is clearly dangerous stuff from a health perspective and added we sometimes intercept packages and we can see that what somebody has thought they are buying is not what they are buying. She went on to remark that some of these underground labs are disgusting in terms of the conditions in which this stuff is made and added you just really are dicing with your health.

In November, the Rugby Football Union said it would fund a major study by Leeds Beckett University with an aim to uncover the scale of doping and supplement use among teenage players.

Debbie Jevans, the chief executive of England 2015 Rugby World Cup, remarked right education was critical to dealing with doping issues. Jevans said the best way and the most healthy way is to train and train hard to be the best you can be and not try and short-circuit it because you may have health problems later on and also added what you do need to do is educate the athletes there because those athletes then become ambassadors and spokespeople.

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Wednesday 25, Mar 2015

WADA Says Lance Armstrong ‘Too Late’ For Reduced Ban

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WADA Says Lance Armstrong ‘Too Late’ For Reduced Ban

The director general of the World Anti-Doping Agency has remarked that Lance Armstrong, the former American professional road racing cyclist who previously held seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 before being stripped of all his titles, has not done enough to get his life ban reduced.

David Howman said the latest bid for rehabilitation from Armstrong’s side is coming too late. Howman added Armstrong did not seize the he had to come forward with details of his doping past and also remarked if Lance satisfied the criteria to go forward and ask for suspension of his ban, the criteria will be carefully looked at, but so far he has not. The WADA Chief also remarked that he is not sure why Lance Armstrong has not done anything and also said that Lance certainly had plenty of opportunities, including talking to us, but he has not come forward with substantial information that might be helpful to the cycling fraternity.

Howman went on to remark that Lance should have made an appeal if he thought he had been given a harsher treatment. He added the cyclist should have sit down and explain the whole regime and what they did but he did not do it before the independent commission that was established by the UCI, he did not do it with USADA, and he has not done it with WADA.

Howman agreed with Brian Cookson, International Cycling Union President, who said plans of Lance Armstrong to ride part of the Tour de France route a day before the professional peloton this summer would be disrespectful. Howman said Cookson is the correct judge of that, and he thinks his statement reflected what was probably the position from their perspective, which is damaging and went on to add that he thinks there is probably going more attention on what he is doing than on the Tour, and that is a little bit sad.

 Armstrong was approached to join the ride by former English soccer player Geoff Thomas. The former soccer star is trying to raise $1.5 million for the fight against blood cancer.

Cookson warned Armstrong not to take part in a Tour de France charity ride in July. The International Cycling Union president said Armstrong was “completely disrespectful” to the current riders, cycling authorities, and the race and remarked he is sure Geoff Thomas means well, but frankly he thinks that is completely inappropriate.

This month, Armstrong met US Anti-Doping Agency Chief Travis Tygart in hopes to get a reduction of his ban but the cyclist is yet to get in touch with the World Anti-Doping Agency. Armstrong was banned in 2012, stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, and banned for life after systematic doping was exposed within his former teams. The cyclist decided not to appeal the decision before the Court of Arbitration for Sport and accepted that he used banned performance enhancing drugs and methods like Testosterone, Cortisone, and Blood transfusion to gain an “unfair” advantage over other cyclists.

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Monday 23, Mar 2015

Pacquiao And Mayweather Camps In Doping Penalty Row

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Pacquiao and mayweather camps in doping penalty row

Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao have reportedly entered into a dispute over a proposed doping penalty before their much-awaited fight at the May 2 welterweight world title fight in Las Vegas. Pacquiao is expected to make at least $80 million while Mayweather is expected to make at least $120 million for the much anticipated fight, billed as “Fight of the Century“.

Mayweather Promotions chief executive Leonard Ellerbe told the Los Angeles Times that the drug testing protocol for the fight had been “rigorously negotiated” by Pacquiao promoters Top Rank. Pacquiao’s adviser Michael Koncz told the same newspaper that it was a little puzzling for him to learn that Floyd Mayweather would not agree to the $5m (£3.37m) penalty that was proposed by representatives of Manny Pacquiao should either fighter test positive for a banned drug.

It was first suggested by Pacquiao that the reciprocal fine for a failed drug test was extra insurance that an instance of doping would not jeopardize the fight that fans have long waited for. But, Ellerbe said the arrangement was an attempt to put a $5m price tag if Manny tested positive and added that it will cost Manny a lot more than some $5m if he comes up positive.

Ellerbe’s comments were echoed by Top Rank boss Bob Arum who said that Mayweather is right as there is no need of it since they would be penalized by more than $5 million by the Nevada Athletic Commission if ever they become positive of drug use. Arum added that the Mayweather’s rejection of the $5 million penalty would not in any way derail the May 2 mega bout.

In the past, drug testing was an issue in attempts to make a Pacquiao-Mayweather fight in late 2009 and early 2010. While Mayweather was adamant for random Olympic-style blood and urine testing, Pacquiao objected to some of the protocols. Pacquiao was accused by Mayweather of using performance enhancing drugs, a charge that was vehemently denied by the Filipino. Mayweather was sued by Pacquiao over the allegation and the two settled out of court.

A few days back, the US Anti-Doping Agency announced that Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao had agreed to undergo Olympic-style random drug-testing before the bout. Since 2010, Mayweather has had USADA testing for all of his bouts. The US Anti-Doping Agency will conduct blood and urine tests for drugs including human growth hormone (HGH) and the blood-boosting erythropoietin (EPO) on both fighters.

Travis Tygart, the chief executive of the United States Anti-Doping Agency, said a positive test would kill the fight, where the total purse is likely to be more than $200 million. A positive test would subject the fighter who tested positive to a potential career-ending ban of four years from competition. Tygart said the penalty for the fighter who violates it is going to be a lot higher than $5 million if there is a positive test prior to the fight. The USADA Chief also remarked Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao signed on to the sanctioning process that is clearly spelled out and added it is a contract that would be enforceable against them.

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Saturday 21, Mar 2015

Yuri Sucart Expected To Plead Guilty

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Yuri Sucart Expected To Plead Guilty

Yuri Sucart, a cousin of Alex Rodriguez, is expected to plead guilty on charges of distributing performance enhancing drugs, according to records filed in Miami federal court.

In August 2014, Sucart was arrested along with six others, including Anthony Bosch, owner of the now-defunct Biogenesis anti-aging clinic in Florida that was at the center of a doping controversy that engulfed some of the most prominent stars of Major League Baseball. Court records also show that Bosch had been expected to testify against Yuri Sucart if the case had gone to trial. In February, Bosch was sentenced four years in prison after he pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute testosterone.

Yuri Sucart procured performance-enhancing drugs for Alex and knows about his romances with many women, his zany legal strategies, and his drug use. Sucart is scheduled to face trial on April 6 in federal court on charges of conspiring to distribute testosterone and human growth hormone. Alex Rodriguez is expected to be called as a witness.

Yuri will become the eighth and final defendant (to plead guilty) who is associated with the notorious Biogenesis anti-aging clinic that provided performance enhancing drugs to Alex Rodriguez and other professional baseball players. In recent months, Yuri has been repeatedly hospitalized with blood clots and other ailments and a heart condition. Prosecutors will ask U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga to sentence Sucart to eight months in prison while Sucart’s lawyer, Ed O’Donnell, will seek four months of house arrest for Yuri, citing poor health in recent months.

Sucart remains the only defendant not to have pleaded guilty but it is widely believed that he may change his not-guilty plea during a court hearing in the U.S. Southern District of Florida. Yuri Sucart is charged with conspiring to distribute Testosterone and five counts of distributing testosterone, which are punishable by a total of 20 years in prison. According to court records, the lawyers of Sucart have threatened to disclose that Sucart was the “steroid mule” of Alex Rodriguez, the American professional baseball third baseman and shortstop for the New York Yankees of Major League Baseball.

Yuri Sucart’s wife, Carmen Sucart, has remarked the secrets of Rodriguez will be exposed in court. Previously, Carmen had disclosed that Alex Rodriguez came to their home in the spring of 2012 and asked them to sign a confidentiality agreement in exchange for $50,000 and an apartment. Carmen added that they declined the deal and Rodriguez peed on the wall. Carmen also reiterated her disdain for the baseball star and questioned her motives after A-Rod apologized for his disastrous effort to escape a season-long doping ban. Carmen said the letter to the fans is a lie and added the reckless campaign of Rodriguez and his denials, legal warfare, and finger-pointing had wrought destruction upon her family. She vowed that truth will prevail if the attorney of his husband gets to cross-examine Alex before a jury and audience at the Miami courtroom of U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia Altonaga.

Recently, Rodriguez, known as “A-Rod,” made a return to the field for the New York Yankees for spring training in Tampa after he was suspended by the MBL for the entire 2014 season over the Biogenesis doping scandal.

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Thursday 19, Mar 2015

Wayne Odesnik Banned For 15 Years, Announces Retirement

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Wayne Odesnik Banned For 15 Years, Announces Retirement

Wayne Odesnik, a professional left-handed American tennis player, has announced his retirement after he was banned on Wednesday for 15 years after a second doping violation.

According to an announcement by the International Tennis Federation, the 29-year-old Odesnik tested positive for many banned substances including anabolic steroids (Methenolone- Primobolan, Androst, and Human growth hormone), during tests in December and January. The ban imposed on Odesnik was backdated to January 30, 2015 and will run until January 29, 2030. As a result of his latest violation, the results of Odesnik at this year’s Happy Valley Challenger event, Maui Challenger event, and the Australian Open will be disqualified and the ranking points and prize money forfeited.

In 2010, the American tennis player was sanctioned for the possession of human growth hormone. His first suspension came when he was stopped by Australian customs officials and eight vials, each containing six milligrams of HGH, were discovered in his baggage. He was off the ATP Tour from April 2010 to August 2011 after he pleaded guilty in Australia to importing human growth hormone. However, Odesnik denied using HGH and repeatedly said he never tested positive. Wayne Odesnik received a ban of two years but that was later cut in half after the ITF remarked that the player cooperated with investigators.

The name of Odesnik also appeared in the handwritten records of Biogenesis of America, the sports clinic linked to a performance-enhancing drug scandal in Major League Baseball. His name appeared numerous times in the records for 2009, 2010, and 2011 and it was indicated by the record that Wayne Odesnik was billed $500 per month by the clinic.

In his statement announcing his retirement, Odesnik said he was “heartbroken” and had “unknowingly ingested a contaminated over-the-counter supplement.”

The severe ban levied on Wayne Odesnik was widely applauded by several top players. Tennis star Roger Federer remarked players and athletes should know if they cheat, they get caught and added that he is all for a clean sport and that is why you’ve got to catch those guys who don’t do the things they are supposed to be doing. Andy Murray, a two-time Grand Slam champion, tweeted, “Bye bye Wayne… Good riddance.”

Murray also remarked that he thinks it is good for tennis to get him off the tour and away from the tour because we don’t want that being part of the tour. The Scottish professional tennis player, ranked world No. 4, also said the positive tests of Odesnik in December and January should be treated as separate offenses. Murray also remarked Odesnik clearly was taking something and trying to get an advantage and added he is not surprised as the American tennis player has been linked to a number of people that have been involved in doping presently and in the past and surrounded himself with those people. Andy Roddick, the 2003 US Open champion and a former world number one, echoed the comments of Murray and remarked he hates that Wayne Odesnik has a US flag next to his name when he is cheating.

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Tuesday 17, Mar 2015

Other Sports Should Order Independent Reports, Says Tour De France Boss

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Other Sports Should Order Independent Reports, Says Tour De France Boss

Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has urged other international federations to “clean” and investigate their sport.

Ahead of the start of the last stage of Paris-Nice, Prudhomme said on Sunday that cycling had been at the forefront of the fight against doping after being haunted by many doping scandals. Prudhomme made these remarks after the International Cycling Union (UCI), the world governing body of cycling, published an independent report into the dirty past of cycling.

The Tour de France director was quick to welcome publication of the Independent Reform Commission’s (CIRC’s) report. Prudhomme remarked the CIRC report suggests that cycling, which became the sport that first implemented the biological passport in 2008, had shown great strength to deal with doping issues. Prudhomme added the report was ordered by the UCI and it exists because the management of the UCI wanted it, which shows that there have been improvements in a world that is not perfect but the fight against doping is a permanent fight. Prudhomme explained we are on the right track but we must not be complacent.

Prudhomme went on to remark that cycling was and is not the only sport that is hit with doping problems. He remarked cycling cannot be singled out and you cannot just put it in a corner and added that he thinks we all dream that all the international federations order an independent report to look into what’s going on in their patch. The director of the prestigious Tour de France event went on to say that the report by CIRC demonstrated that doping had not been entirely eradicated and was less prevalent with some riders still abusing corticoids and using micro-dosing to avoid detection.

The CIRC report is not exhaustive in nature. It has its share of shortcomings as the report drew conclusions with less than 6% of the interviewees being current professional riders. Prudhomme said he sees that many people from the UCI have been interviewed, which is logical because it was the primary goal of the report, but it would not have been shocking to see more professional riders being interviewed.

The UCI was quick to unveil a series of anti-doping recommendations after the CIRC report went public. The world governing body of cycling now wants night-time access to riders and “more robust” re-testing of their stored samples. The UCI will ask more of its independent anti-doping unit (CADF) and may recruit an intelligence manager to work with customs and law enforcement agencies. In addition to these recommendations, the UCI also plans to create a fit-and-proper test for team directors and doctors, re-launched whistleblower hotline, and faster prosecutions of biological passport cases.

Prudhomme applauded the recommendations and said there are already a lot of measures — just look at what cycling is doing compared with other sports. He added but the co-operation with the pharmaceutical industry is, I think, a great leap forward, which will bring quick results.

Prudhomme also said he is hopeful for a quick resolution of the Team Astana issue and remarked we all know that it can drag along. The Kazakh-funded outfit would lose their automatic Tour spot if the UCI License Commission accepts the request of the UCI and that would mean Vincenzo Nibali, the Tour de France 2014 winner, may lose out on starting the world’s greatest cycling race on July 4.

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Sunday 15, Mar 2015

Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

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Lance Rode Tour Down Under In A Deal With McQuaid

According to a 227-page dossier published recently by the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, the comeback of Lance Armstrong in the 2009 Tour Down Under is an example of cycling failing to apply its own rules.

The CIRC report disclosed the former American professional road racing cyclist, who previously held seven consecutive Tour de France titles from 1999 to 2005 before being stripped of all titles, was to be paid US 1 million dollars for racing at the 2009 Tour Down Under, with the money to go to his Livestrong charity.  The wide-ranging report said another example of UCI failing to apply its own rules was the decision to allow Lance Armstrong to compete in the Tour Down Under in 2009, despite the fact that he had not been in the UCI (anti-doping) testing pool for the prescribed period of time.

The three appearances of Armstrong at the Tour from 2009-11 represent the single biggest boost to the race since it started in 1999. However, there has always been a dark cloud of controversy whether the ex-cyclist should have been cleared to compete. Armstrong was not supposed to be eligible for a return under anti-doping rules for a return to competition until February 1 – several days after the Tour.

The report said Pat McQuaid advised his senior team on the morning of 6 October that he had decided that Lance Armstrong could ride the Tour Down Under. This was after the then president of cycling’s world governing body, the UCI, told the camp of Lance Armstrong that the cyclist cannot compete at the January Tour. The report added several interviewees spoke about an abrupt ‘change of mind’ by the UCI president that took many people at UCI by surprise and underlined the fact that the decision was unilaterally taken by the UCI president and added that no explanation as then given internally as to why Lance Armstrong was suddenly given an exemption.

The CIRC report revealed that Armstrong confirmed to McQuaid he would ride in the 2009 Tour of Ireland also on October 6. McQuaid’s brother Darach was the project manager at the time for the Tour of Ireland. It was disclosed by the report that there was a “temporal link” between Lance Armstrong being cleared to race at the Tour Down Under and his decision to race at the Tour of Ireland. The report also said Pat McQuaid was under significant political pressure mainly from Australia to permit Armstrong commence his much-publicized racing comeback at the Adelaide race.

Former UCI presidents Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid welcomed the findings of the CIRC report and insisted that the Cycling Independent Reform Commission has cleared them of any wrongdoing connected to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. Verbruggen, president between 1991 and 2005, said the wild conspiracy theories and accusations have all been properly debunked once and for all and added he is pleased that this report confirms his complete innocence concerning these accusations which have been leveled at him in the past.

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Friday 13, Mar 2015

French Rider Tests Positive For EPO

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French Rider Tests Positive For EPO

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that French rider Lloyd Mondory has failed an out-of-competition test for the banned blood-booster Erythropoietin (EPO). The rider has been provisionally suspended and may receive a ban of four years if results of the test are confirmed.

The contract of Mondory was extended two days until 2016 before the positive test. Mondory has since raced Trofeo Laigueglia, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and Strade Bianche.

It was announced by the world governing body of cycling that it has notified French rider Lloyd Mondory of an Adverse Analytical Finding of EPO in a sample collected in the scope of an out-of-competition control on 17 February 2015. The UCI statement added the rider has the right to request and attend the analysis of the B sample. It also disclosed that Lloyd Mondory has been provisionally suspended until the adjudication of the affair.

The 32-year-old of the Ag2r La Mondiale team returned a positive test for EPO on February 17. Mondory has twice taken part in the Tour de France. In 2004, he turned professional and spent his entire career at Ag2r. Mondory won the French Cup in 2006 and participated in 2009 and 2010. Mondory won Tirenno-Adriatico’s mountains classification in 2008.He also took stage victories in the Etoile de Bessèges in 2011 and the Vuelta a Burgos last year. The French professional road bicycle racer took the second place in a stage of the 2008 Vuelta a España.

Mondory is the first top-level French cyclist to test positive for EPO since Steve Houanard in 2012. Ag2r-La Mondiale suspended itself from the Critérium du Dauphiné under Movement for Credible Cycling in the following season Sylvain Georges returned a positive test for the stimulant heptaminol.  A2gr faces suspension over the charges and participation of the team in this year’s Tour de France is now in question. The team will however not be compelled by the MPCC to suspend itself even if the B-sample of Mondory reveals a positive outcome as the last infraction was more than 12 months ago.

Ag2r manager Vincent Lavenu said he is ashamed and remarked he feels a sense of betrayal. Lavenu added Mondory has been with the team for 12 years and reputation of the team will now be tarnished. The A2gr manager said he cannot handle this and added it is always shameful to receive this kind of information. Lavenu also said Lloyd Mondory was in tears but his explanation doesn’t convince him and he hopes Mondory has the courage to tell the truth and not hide behind false excuses. He went on to add that we are betrayed too much and said this is the third French rider in three years who has acted the idiot, it’s appalling and it is a mixture of shame, betrayal, and discouragement.

Since 1992, Lavenu has been at the helm of the Ag2r team and is among the longest-serving team managers in the peloton.

Ag2r La Mondiale team has previously been struck by doping cases including the arrest of Rodolfo Massi at the 1998 Tour de France and implication of Francisco Mancebo in Operacion Puerto in 2006.

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