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Archive for  July 2013

Wednesday 31, Jul 2013

French Senate Lays Bare Doping

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French Senate Lays Bare Doping

A French Senate inquiry into sports doping has revealed the top two in the 1998 Tour de France – Italian Marco Pantani and Germany’s Jan Ullrich – were taking the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

The medical stubs enclosed in the 918-page report also revealed that American Lance Armstrong tested positive for EPO in 1999. The 21-member parliamentary group, just three days after the end of the 100th Tour, said a “truth and reconciliation” commission should be created to lift the veil of silence on illegal practices. It was recommended by the group that the French government finance studies about the extent of doping, its risks, and the range of drugs used.

Parliamentarian Jean-Jacques Lozach, the group’s spokesman, said we cannot properly fight something that we don’t understand and added that speaking of doping doesn’t harm sport but instead contributes in the medium and long term to restore its greatness and not speaking about it often means not doing anything. Lozach said the anti-doping fight would be a lot more effective if the different actors in sports, law enforcement and justice cooperated.

The five-month investigation by the 21-member Senate group recommended that sporting calendars be approved by the sports minister to reduce the taxing schedules that it said created favorable conditions for doping. It also suggested that blood and urine samples should be used to test for more substances at the same time to cut down on the volume of samples and streamline the testing process.

The list of athletes who tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour included Ullrich and Pantani. In June this year, Ullrich admitted he underwent blood doping procedures and was banned in 2012 for two years for a doping offense. Last month, sports daily L’Equipe reported that a 1998 urine sample from Frenchman Laurent Jalabert showed traces of the banned blood-booster EPO when it was re-tested in 2004, a result confirmed in the Senate report. In May, Jalabert told the French commission that he is convinced today that one can do the Tour de France without doping and obtain results. He added that he will admit that cycling is a discipline that deserves blame, but I’d really like to see the day when we recognize that it was a sport that was a vanguard in anti-doping, and which assumed its responsibilities. Jalabert added that it is unfair to represent it today as the only sport that involves cheaters.

Meanwhile, Jacky Durand, a now-retired winner of three stages on the Tour who was also named in the report, said he accepted responsibility for his doping but added that the new generation shouldn’t have to pay for the stupid things we did in the past.

In another development, Australian Tour de France stage winner Stuart O’Grady who recently admitted using the banned blood-booster EPO before the notorious 1998 Tour de France may lose his three national citations, which include an Order of Australia Medal awarded in 2005. The cyclist could also be stripped of his Olympic medals after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs.

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Tuesday 30, Jul 2013

Cycling Australia Shattered By O’Grady’s Doping Admission

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Cycling Australia Shattered By O’Grady’s Doping Admission

Cycling Australia (CA) says the doping admission of Australian cyclist Stuart O’Grady is a “real disappointment” but expressed confidence that cycling can regain public confidence.

The cyclist admitted to using the banned blood boosting agent Erythropoietin (EPO), just three days after he announced his retirement from cycling. The 39-year-old cyclist had been named in a French Senate inquiry into sports doping, which looked at the 1998 Tour and found the top three finishers, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich, were taking EPO. The cyclist remarked he used EPO in the 1998 Tour de France that was overshadowed by the Festina doping scandal. The celebrated cyclist recently announced his retirement after helping his GreenEdge team to a time trial victory in this year’s Tour, his 17th appearance tying the record of American George Hincapie. The Australian cyclist was among 12 riders whose tests were said to be “suspicious” and the 39-year-old did not waste time confirming he had used EPO.

Cycling Australia chief executive Graham Fredericks says his organization was shocked by O’Grady’s admission and added this is a real disappointment to us as a custodian of the sport. He added Cycling Australia can only take a fairly hard line in response to this news overnight. Immediately after his confession, the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) called for him to resign from its Athletes’ Commission. However, his most recent professional team, GreenEDGE, released a statement supporting his decision to admit to doping, and said it is now O’Grady’s responsibility to help rebuild the public trust in the sport. The statement also said that one mistake should not tarnish an exceptional career.

A six-time Olympian and world champion on the track, O’Grady insisted his doping in 1998 was a one-off bad decision. Cycling Australia chief executive Graham Fredericks however said the decorated career of the cyclist would remain clouded and remarked Stuart has been one of Australia’s most enduring road riders who appear to have made a poor decision which will regrettably now have an impact on the legacy of his career.

The cyclist may be stripped of his Olympic medals after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs at the 1998 Tour de France. Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) spokesman Mike Tancred remarked it’s a matter for the international federation in regard to the medals, so the UCI (International Cycling Union) will consider the medals and they will then make some recommendation to the IOC (International Olympic Commission). O’Grady may also stand to lose his three national citations, which include an Order of Australia Medal awarded in 2005.

Cycling Australia however declined to condemn O’Grady, blaming the era and the European “environment”. In a statement, the governing body said the late 1990s was clearly a dark period in cycling’s international history. AOC president John Coates said in a statement remarked the “everybody else was doing it” line was no defense for cheating and remarked this was a shameful period for the sport of cycling which has been well documented, that is no excuse for the decision taken by Stuart O’Grady.

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Monday 29, Jul 2013

Australian Cycling Legend Admits To Doping

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Australian Cycling Legend Admits To Doping

Stuart O’Grady has admitted to using banned blood-booster EPO before the 1998 Tour de France. Confession by the Australian cycling great comes just a few days after the 39-year-old Olympian and 17-time Tour rider announced his retirement from the sport, a day after completing a 17th Tour de France.

The 39-year-old equaled the record of American George Hincapie of 17 appearances in the Grande Boucle, the most prestigious cycling race in the world. At the time of announcing his retirement, the Orica-GreenEdge rider said he has always wanted his career to end with something truly special and this year’s Tour de France has given me that.

O’Grady won four Olympic track cycling medals from 1992 to 2004, including gold in the Madison in Athens. O’Grady also won Paris-Roubaix in 2007 and claimed victory in four Tour de France stages (including two individual stages and two team time trials) wearing the yellow jersey for three days in 1998 and six days in 2001, while winning the Tour Down Under in his homeland in 1999 and 2001.

The Australian cyclist admitted that he made a decision leading into the 1998 Tour de France and sourced EPO himself. He added that there was no one else involved and the team was not involved in any way and remarked he just had to drive over the border and purchase EPO at any pharmacy.

The Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) has called for O’Grady to resign from its Athletes’ Commission since the news broke.  The AOC released a statement in which it was confirmed that O’Grady has been asked to resign from the Athletes’ Commission. OC President John Coates said members of our London Olympic Team who elected Stuart to the Athletes’ Commission are entitled to be angry knowing they had supported an athlete who had cheated. Coates added that members of the athletes’ commission are chosen for their qualities of integrity and leadership and by his admission Stuart does not deserve to be a member of that group. The AOC President added that there was no excuse for O’Grady’s actions and the 1998 Tour was a shameful period for the sport of cycling which has been well documented, that is no excuse for the decision taken by Stuart O’Grady, and one can only hope that cycling and especially the Tour de France is cleaner as a result of today’s revelations and the Lance Armstrong saga.

The former track cyclist who won medals at three Olympics took the first of his four career Tour stage wins in 1998 in a race that was overshadowed by the Festina doping scandal. O’Grady was recently named in a French Senate inquiry into sports doping which looked at the 1998 Tour and found the top three finishers, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich, were taking EPO.

Meanwhile, O’Grady’s most recent team, Orica GreenEDGE, has released a statement supporting his decision, saying that one mistake should not tarnish an exceptional career. General manager Shayne Bannan remarked ORICA-GreenEDGE supports Stuart O’Grady’s decision to step forward and place the findings of the French Senate Report of today into perspective regarding his own past and added that like the majority of the riders in his generation, he was also exposed to the issues and wrongdoings of the sport and made some wrong choices in that environment.

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Sunday 28, Jul 2013

Baseball Players Outraged At Doping Scandal

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Baseball Players Outraged At Doping Scandal

Baseball players, protective no more, are demanding harsher suspensions for those caught cheating. This was as soon as Ryan Braun accepted a season-ending 65-game suspension rather than fight Major League Baseball over evidence that he made use of performance enhancing drugs.

With this silent admission, Braun has lost a great deal of his credibility as well as more than one-third of a season. The worst thing that came up was Braun still considers himself to be above the rest as there are no details about all the performance-enhancing drugs the league knew he had used and there have been no straightforward admissions of guilt. The 29-year-old outfielder has never registered less than 25 home runs and 97 RBI in a full season, and he also sports a .312 career batting average and won the 2011 NL MVP award. His 2013 season was riddled by injuries, but he still managed to hit .298 with nine homers and 38 RBI through 61 contests.

Braun lost his deal with a chain of convenience stores as soon as he was suspended. Gary Gonczy, director of marketing and advertising for Kwik Trip, Inc., was quick to remark that his company will no longer use Braun as a spokesman.

Los Angeles Angels pitcher CJ Wilson said drug cheaters are lying to their fans, teammates, GMs, and owners and will get caught. Skip Schumaker of the Los Angeles Dodgers remarked that he is let down by Braun and said watching him talk right now makes me sick. He went on to add that he has autographed Braun jersey in his baseball room that he’ll be taking down and said he doesn’t want his son identifying what h he have worked so hard to get to and work so hard to have – he don’t want him comparing Braun to him. Matt Kemp of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who finished second to Braun in the 2011 MVP vote, remarked Braun should be stripped of the honor and said he doesn’t think anybody likes to be lied to, and he feels like a lot of people have felt betrayed. New York Yankees manager Joe Girardi said the 2011 MVP Braun was guilty as one doesn’t accept a deal unless he is guilty.

The Major League Baseball’s recent investigation into the closed anti-aging clinic Biogenesis brought suspicious eyes to more than a dozen players, including three-time AL MVP Alex Rodriguez of the Yankees, Melky Cabrera, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, and Seattle catcher Jesus Montero. Many believe that A-Rod can expect a much harsher penalty than the one Braun agreed to while his team expect Rodriguez could be accused of using PEDs over multiple seasons and of recruiting other athletes for the clinic. Alex Rodriguez may also be accused of attempting to obstruct the investigation of MLB and of not being truthful in the past with MLB when he discussed his relationship with Dr Anthony Galea, who pleaded guilty two years ago to a US federal charge of bringing unapproved drugs from Canada into the United States.

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Saturday 27, Jul 2013

Ryan Braun Suspended Without Pay

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Ryan Braun Suspended Without Pay

Milwaukee Brewers Ryan Braun, a former National League MVP, has been suspended without pay for the rest of the season. The player later admitted that he “made mistakes” in violating Major League Baseball’s drug policies.

The 2011 National League MVP was suspended without pay for the rest of the season and the post-season after being tied to a Florida clinic accused of distributing performance enhancing drugs. A 65-game ban, 15 games more than the one he avoided last year was accepted by Braun. Last year, an arbitrator overturned his positive test for elevated testosterone because the urine sample had been improperly handled.

In another development, Matt Kemp who finished second behind Braun in the race for the 2011 National League MVP Award wants Ryan Braun stripped of NL MVP award following drug suspension. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder said the suspended Milwaukee Brewers slugger should be stripped of the honor and said people feel “betrayed” by Braun.

After the suspension news broke out, Braun said he is not perfect and realize now he has made some mistakes. He also remarked that he is willing to accept the consequences of those actions. Miami Marlins manager Mike Redmond said for these guys still to be involved with this stuff just baffles him and added that the education is there and everybody knows what you can and can’t take. Redmond said it baffles him that this continues to be a black cloud over the game and said he knows that Major League Baseball has done a great job of cleaning up the game and the testing policy and all that and it’s working. But he added that at the same time, too, it seems like we’ll go through a lull and then, bam, here comes another guy that gets suspended and it’s got to stop.

In January this year, Miami New Times reported that Braun, injured Yankees star Alex Rodriguez, and more than a dozen players were connected with Biogenesis of America, a now-closed anti-aging clinic.

MLB Commissioner Bud Selig announced the penalty for Braun citing the outfielder for unspecified “violations” of both baseball’s drug program and labor contract. The 29-year-old Braun was hitting .298 with nine homers and 38 RBIs this year and will miss the Milwaukee Brewers’ final 65 games without pay, costing him about $3 million of his $8.5 million salary. Brewers’ general manager Doug Melvin said he is disappointed as Braun is a very important player to our organization and to the ballclub and to our performance on the field. Rob Manfred, MLB’s executive vice-president for economics and league affairs, said in a statement, we commend Ryan Braun for taking responsibility for his past actions and added that we all agree that it is in the best interests of the game to resolve this matter. He added we look forward when Ryan returns to him making positive contributions to Major League Baseball, both on and off the field.

Other players tied to Biogenesis in media reports include Melky Cabrera, now with the Toronto Blue Jays, Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli, and Seattle catcher Jesus Montero.

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Friday 26, Jul 2013

Hefty Doping Ban Expected For Alex Rodriguez

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Hefty Doping Ban Expected For Alex Rodriguez

Former Major League Baseball (MLB) Commissioner Fay Vincent says he has a feeling that Alex Rodriguez could be in for some harsh treatment. Vincent, though privy to details of the latest doping sweep overshadowing the sport, said his current MLB chief Bud Selig may decide to make an example of the famed New York Yankees slugger.

MLB’s active home run leader and highest-paid player, Rodriguez, has been implicated in a scandal that has already resulted in former National League MVP Ryan Braun being suspended Monday for the rest of the 2013 season. Braun decided not to contest the case made against him by MLB investigators and accepted a 65-game ban, plus any potential playoff games.

The 75-year Vincent remarked it seems to him that A-Rod is trying to make a deal like Braun and he thinks he’s trying to make a good deal and added that he doesn’t think a good deal is do-able. The ex-MLB chief said his guess is that A-Rod is going to be out for a very long period of time and it may be that his case is worse (than Braun) and if it is, they may be telling him he may be out for good and that’s a deal he can’t make. Resolution of the cases tied to the now-shut Biogenesis clinic in South Florida was an important step in the fight against doping, says Vincent and added that the performance enhancing drug problem is a threat to all of competitive athletics, from the Olympics to cycling to all sorts of sporting events that are threatened to the extent we let people use performance enhancing drugs. The former commissioner praised the cooperation of the players’ association and its chief Michael Weiner in the current doping case and said stamping out doping would have a fighting chance if the players joined team owners as partners in MLB, in contrast of their approach to the way the player’s association fought him in 1990 when he wrote a commissioner’s memo about the dangers of steroids to the game.

Rodriguez admitted before the 2009 season with the Yankees that he had used anabolic steroids earlier in his career and he according to media reports may have more evidence stacked against him than the MLB probe unearthed on Braun. The 38-year-old Rodriguez is guaranteed about $100 million on a deal that runs through 2017, with an additional $30 million in a series of home-run milestone bonuses due, if he reaches them. Vincent said he can see a very, very tough result for A-Rod that may be cushioned a little bit by a deal on the money side but he doesn’t see Bud giving A-Rod much of a deal and that will send a message that one of these days I’m going to throw someone out for life and we’re not going to have this anymore. Vincent added that would be a very popular move and he thinks it would really go a long way to putting his legacy in very strong shape.

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Thursday 25, Jul 2013

1998 Tour de France Top Three ‘Were Doping’

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1998 Tour de France Top Three ‘Were Doping’

Ahead of a French parliamentary commission’s report, French daily Le Monde has revealed that the top three riders in the 1998 edition of the Tour de France were all taking the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO).

According to reports published by the French daily, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich who were the top three during the 1998 Tour de France were all taking EPO. These revelations come just ahead of a French parliamentary commission that is all set to release a report shortly. On May 15, the commission made waves after it announced that senators from the upper chamber of parliament would reveal the identities of those riders using erythropoietin during the race.

A few days back, a delegation of professional riders, including Jens Voigt, Jérémy Roy, Samuel Dumoulin, Jerome Pineau, and Luis Angel Mate, met with French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron to delay the release of the report before the start of the Tour de France. After the delay request was accepted, Dumoulin remarked we never said we did not want the fight against doping, but simply were asked for equality between sports. He added that given the media coverage of the Tour, we know that a spark would trigger a huge fire as viewers would be reminded of the old doping cases. Dumoulin added that now we can concentrate on the sport, and once we have turned the page of the Tour, we will focus on the findings of the investigation.

The French parliamentary commission questioned 84 witnesses under oath, from sportsmen and women to organizers and anti-doping experts, to lift the lid over the subject. The senators are aiming to frame legislation on sport and put it before parliament for debate next year.

French former rider Laurent Jalabert was alleged last month to have been one of those implicated through comparison of retrospective testing results from 2004 and a list of anonymous samples from 1998. The cyclist immediately stepped down as a television and radio pundit for this year’s Tour de France that was won by British rider Chris Froome. Marco Pantani’s family said they were against identifying riders; the rider died in 2004. Pantani, the Italian road racing cyclist, was widely considered one of the best climbers of his era in professional road bicycle racing. He was found dead in a hotel in Rimini. Nicknamed “The Pirate”, Pantani won the 1998 Tour de France and Giro d’Italia but was thrown out of the 1999 Giro d’Italia for failing a blood test. He was the last man to win the Tour before American Lance Armstrong embarked on a record-equaling five straight victories.

The professional cyclists’ union the CPA also opposed to publication. In a statement, the union remarked publication of a list amounts to an accusation of doping without any means of defense and argued that no counter-analysis was possible as the original samples no longer existed. But this opposition may not deter the senators who are still likely to publish the identities of the riders and could equally include lists of samples taken on the 1999 Tour, which was won by US rider Lance Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour wins and banned from cycling for life last year for doping in a scandal that engulfed cycling into crisis.

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Wednesday 24, Jul 2013

Armstrong Fights Feds’ Suit

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Armstrong Fights Fed’ Suit

On Tuesday, Lance Armstrong urged a federal judge to dismiss the False Claims Act lawsuit filed against him by the Justice Department. The cyclist argued that the Postal Service got the worth of its money out of its sponsorship deal and that the claims are barred by the statute of limitations.

The lawyers for Armstrong said in the filing in U.S. District Court in Washington that the Postal Service that sponsored the cycling team of Lance got exactly what it bargained for, including tens of millions of dollars’ worth of publicity, exposure to more than 30 million spectators at international cycling events, and hundreds of hours of television coverage. The Postal Service paid about $40 million to be the title sponsor of the teams of Lance Armstrong from 1998 to 2004 and is believed to have reaped at least $139 million in worldwide brand exposure in four years — $35 million to $40 million for sponsoring the Armstrong team in 2001, $38 million to $42 million in 2002, $31 million in 2003, and $34.6 million in 2004.

Early this year, the Justice Department joined the whistleblower lawsuit filed by Floyd Landis, an ex-teammate of Armstrong, against the seven-time Tour de France winner. Whistleblowers, under the False Claims Act, can share with the government in any recovery of money based upon their disclosures. It is claimed by the government that Lance Armstrong violated his contract and was “unjustly enriched” while cheating to win the Tour de France. These claims were made after the cyclist, to the surprise of everyone, admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used banned performance enhancing drugs to win the Tour.

The filing of Lance Armstrong says the government alleges that a single fact was hidden, and relies on that allegation to justify sitting on its claims for a decade and the Postal Service Cycling Team, like many other teams in the peloton, was doping. Armstrong’s lawyers said that the government’s actions at the time are far more telling although it now pretends to be aggrieved by these allegations. It was also remarked by the lawyers that the government did not fire the Postal Service Team nor did it suspend the team pending an investigation and the matter was not even referred to its phalanx of lawyers and investigators at the Department of Justice for review. Armstrong’s lawyers went on to remark that the government instead renewed its contract to sponsor the team rather than exercise its right to terminate the sponsorship agreement. The lawyers argued that government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that go along with being his sponsor as Armstrong had recently won the 2000 Tour de France. They added that it is now far too late for the government to revisit its choice to reap the benefits of sponsorship rather than investigate allegations of doping as that was more than a decade ago.

In their defense, the government noted that the contract with the Postal Service required riders to follow the rules of cycling that included bans on performance enhancing drugs and methods and team officials assured the Postal Service that the team wasn’t doping. The lawsuit also named former team Armstrong team director Johan Bruyneel and team management company Tailwind Sports as defendants.

Armstrong Fights Feds’ Suit

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Tuesday 23, Jul 2013

Magee Considers Suing Manufacturer Of Sports Supplements

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Magee Considers Suing Manufacturer Of Sports Supplements

Former world super-middleweight champion Brian Magee was evaluating the option of a legal action against the manufacturer of a sports supplement that landed him with a doping ban of six months.

The 38-year-old Magee was recently revealed to be the first British athlete to have tested positive for Oxilofrine, the same stimulant sprinter Asafa Powell admitted had shown up in his system. The Northern Irish boxer Magee was found to have inadvertently ingested the substance that did not appear on the list of ingredients for a supplement he took during the build-up to his World Boxing Association title defeat to Mikkel Kessler in December. Magee said he feared his career was over when he was informed of the positive test and the boxer who fought Carl Froch in 2006 and is a former British and European champion, said he is intent on returning to the ring.

Though McGee was not given a ban of two years, his failure to double-check the product with a qualified medical practitioner was still deemed “careless and negligent” by UK Anti-Doping, leading to a suspension that was backdated to January and expires next week. Magee told UK Anti-Doping that he had taken a new supplement that also contained another banned substance in beta-methylphenethylamine to combat fatigue after contracting a heavy cold. The judgment of UKAD reflected the fact Oxilofrine or its known synonyms were not listed among the supplement’s ingredients. UK Anti-Doping said in its judgment that the athlete has acted in a careless and negligent manner that has resulted in him committing an anti-doping rule violation.

In a statement, Magge remarked that he was in total shock when told that he had tested positive, and he honestly thought someone was playing a joke. He remarked all I could think was I could get a lifetime ban or even a two-year ban which, at my age, would have meant my career was as good as over. Magee added that I have had 30 or 40 tests in my career and never tested positive and I have always been extremely careful about everything I have taken, and I didn’t do anything differently before the Kessler fight.

The Irish boxer’s manager Pat Magee said Brian has had 20 plus tests throughout his career in the amateurs and the professional game and none before this one have returned positive. He added that this news came to a shock to me and Brian and it is out there for anyone to see that he has tested positive, but people won’t read behind that and seek out what really happened. Pat Magee added that Brian has never knowingly taken performance enhancing drugs and it has been confirmed to us by the UKAD that the amount of the substance found in his system would not have proved beneficial or helped in a fight in any way.

A few weeks back, the former director of ethics and anti-doping at UK Sport, Michele Verroke, remarked athletes are being put under so much pressure to improve performance that they are being persuaded to use supplements and added this is a totally unregulated market and they are hugely at risk.

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Monday 22, Jul 2013

Chris Froome Wins Tour De France 2013

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Chris Froome Wins Tour De France 2013

Christopher Froome, the Kenyan-born British professional road racing cyclist who rides for UCI ProTeam Team Sky, has won the Tour de France 2013. Froome became the hot favorite to bring home the honors after Bradley Wiggins pulled out of this year’s race through injury.

Froome vowed his victory wouldn’t be stripped for doping as were of Lance Armstrong and added that this is one yellow jersey that will stand the test of time. The rider said he has also believed in people who have turned out to be cheats and liars but assured everyone that he is not a cheat. Chris Froome had to ride through a barrage of doubt and skepticism, especially since his strength in the mountains and time trials reminded some cycling lovers of Armstrong and the way he and his team used to suffocate the race.

Froome hugged his Team Sky manager Chris Brailsford first and the pair were very close to tears. The rider toasted his Team Sky colleagues in an accompanying car and remarked it is difficult for him to put it into words and the race has been a fight every single day. The British rider who dominated rivals over three weeks on the road became the second British in succession to win the Tour after Bradley Wiggins in 2012. He dedicated his victory to his late mother, Jane, who died in 2008 and remarked he would probably be at home watching on TV without her encouragement to follow his dreams.

After this win, Froome remarked to win the 100th edition is an honor beyond any he had dreamed and the rider was soon joined by five-time winners Eddy Merckx, Bernard Hinault, and Miguel Indurain on the podium. Olympic gold medalist Victoria Pendleton praised the efforts of Chris Froome, calling him an “absolutely phenomenal athlete”.

Chris Froome, Nairo Quintana, and Joaquim Rodriguez — who were the 100th edition’s podium finisher — have never failed a drug test or been directly implicated in any of cycling doping scandals, a notable departure both from the Armstrong era.

Froome turned professional in 2007 at the age of 22 with Team Konica Minolta and moved to Team Sky in 2010. In October 2009, Froome represented England at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, in Delhi, coming fifth in the time trial. He made his breakthrough as a Grand Tour contender during the 2011 Vuelta a España where he finished second overall. At the 2012 Tour de France, Froome riding as a domestique for Bradley Wiggins, won stage seven that culminated on a steep uphill finish and finished second overall, behind only the win of Bradley Wiggins in the same race as the best British performance in the history of Tour de France. Froome also won the bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympic Games and finished fourth in the Vuelta a España in 2012. The rider’s first stage race win came in 2013, in the Tour of Oman, followed by wins in the Criterium International, the Tour de Romandie, the Critérium du Dauphiné, and the Tour de France.

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