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Friday 05, Jul 2013

  Testimony From Cycling Team Director Being Used To Build Cases Against Others

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Testimony From Cycling Team Director Being Used To Build Cases Against Others

According to a statement by Australian anti-doping investigators, the testimony of Matt White is being used to build cases against others.

The Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) released more details of the suspension that the cycling team director served earlier this year after White orchestrated the first Tour de France stage win for Orica-GreenEDGE. White was given a backdated ban of six months that was reduced from the original ban of two years. His ban ended in early May and he returned to Orica-GreenEDGE in time for the Tour. The Australian former professional road racing cyclist who started his career on the track under Charlie Walsh, competing in the Junior World Championship in Athens apologized for doping during his time as a professional cyclist.

In a statement, ASADA said Cycling Australia imposed a two-year period of ineligibility under its anti-doping policy with three-quarters suspended for the substantial assistance White provided to ASADA during the course of its cycling investigation. It was further revealed that Cycling Australia, in applying the full three-quarters reduction in suspension, acknowledged in its decision that information provided by White is helping establish violations against others and this reduction is in line with the provisions of the World Anti-Doping Code. The statement also said White chose to be a part of a solution for the betterment of the sport and its athletes when faced with an opportunity to cooperate fully with an anti-doping organization.

Australian cycling was rocked last October after White and CA vice-president Stephen Hodge confessed to doping during their riding careers within days of the life ban on Lance Armstrong. White confessed to blood doping and the attempted use of testosterone, IGF-1, and the blood booster EPO. Meanwhile, Hodge admitted to taking part in a team doping program for the last six years of his career in order to have a chance to ride big races like the Tour de France. The former Cycling Australia vice-president remarked he had to take drugs to remain competitive at the highest level in cycling while racing for the Once and Festina teams.

In his statement, Hodge remarked there had been no ‘overt pressure’ to take drugs, but that the reality of competition made it a clear choice and added that there weren’t people saying ‘you must do this’, but clearly if you wanted to remain competitive and get selected for the big races like the Tour (de France) you could make a choice to participate in the team (doping) program. Hodge completed the Tour de France six times and represented Australia and was regarded as one of the country’s leading riders during the 1980s and the early 1990s before retiring in 1996. He represented Australia at 10 world championships, as well as the 1986 Edinburgh Commonwealth Games and the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. After Hodge’s doping admission, CA president Klaus Mueller thanked him for his ‘immense contribution’ to cycling and said Hodge became a tireless worker for the sport and for almost 15 years has freely given up his time as an advocate for the rights of athletes and to promote and develop the sport in Australia.

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Thursday 07, Mar 2013

  Dutch Ex-Cyclist Admits Doping

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Dutch Ex-Cyclist Admits Doping

A former Dutch professional cyclist who once edged Lance Armstrong to win the Amstel Gold Race had admitted to using performance enhancing drugs.

Michael Boogerd, the spring classic specialist, admitted to making the use of performance enhancing drugs for a decade during his career. Boogerd revealed he used EPO and cortisone besides using blood transfusions in the last period of his career and added that he doped from 1997 to 2007, a period that covered almost his entire professional career.

Boggerd rendered an apology for keeping the doping culture alive and said he is sorry that he cannot accept that doping was wrong. The cyclist admitted to using the Austrian blood lab, Humanplasma, for transfusions and said he flew to Vienna for blood transfusions and stored his own blood for later use though he did not name anyone who helped him dope and remarked doping was his responsibility and choice.

The confession by the Dutch former cyclist came after several reports linked the former Rabobank rider to doping practices, including going to the Vienna lab. The cyclist, who retired in 2007, had two Tour de France stage wins and won the Amstel Gold classic in 1999, narrowly beating Lance Armstrong, who was banned for life from cycling and stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles and later confessing to doping during his seven-straight Tour victories.

Bogart won a Tour stage in 1996 and his best overall finish in the Tour was fifth in 1998. His greatest triumph was widely regarded as the 2002 Tour 16th stage win in the French Alps, including a solo climb to the finish in La Plagne. After announcing his retirement, the Dutch cyclist became a regular cycling commentator for NOS.

With this confession, Boogerd is the latest rider from the now disbanded Rabobank team to admit doping after Michael Rasmussen, a climbing specialist who won stage victories in the Tour de France and Spanish Vuelta, who admitted to taking everything from testosterone and growth hormones to blood transfusions from 1998-2010 for boosting his performance. In 2005 and 2006, Rasmussen finished the Tour de France wearing the polka dot jersey as the best climber and was the overall leader of the 2007 Tour until he was kicked off for lying about his whereabouts when he missed the pre-race doping tests. The cyclist later admitted that he had lied and was given a two-year ban from cycling.

Last year, Rabobank ended its long sponsorship of professional cycling and said the trust in the cycling world has gone after the publication of the US Anti-Doping Agency’s report on Lance Armstrong and Bert Bruggink of the board of governors said that we are no longer convinced that the international professional cycling world is capable of creating a clean and honest sport.

A judicial inquiry was recently opened by Belgian authorities into Dr. Geert Leinders, who worked for the Rabobank and Team Sky cycling teams. An investigation was launched by the prosecutor’s office in Dendermonde after a Dutch newspaper claimed the Belgian doctor played a key role in alleged doping practices at the former Rabobank team.

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