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Sunday 09, Nov 2014

  Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

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Canada Does Not Have Organized Doping System

An independent agency working on behalf of Cycling Canada has remarked that there is no overarching doping program in the country. The agency however disclosed in a report that Canada must improve its efforts to build a better educational platform for discouraging the use of performance enhancing drugs.

The report, entitled “National Consultation on Doping Activity in the Sport of Cycling,” emphasized on different areas of sport ethics like decision making, testing, and the culture of cycling and performance enhancing drugs. The report said there may have been isolated cases of performance enhancing drug use but they were not part of a national culture of performance enhancing drug use in elite cycling.

In a release, Greg Mathieu, chief executive officer of Cycling Canada, said we are pleased to hear that the report confirms that there is no ‘culture of doping’ in Canadian Cycling. Mathieu added we have been very clear in the past that Cycling Canada does not tolerate any athletes who try to cheat on their way to better performances and also remarked that we believe that it is possible to win at Olympic Games, World championships, or any other international or national events without the use of any doping agents.

The findings come after a series of confessions from professional cyclist from North America to using performance enhancing drugs through the “Reasoned Decision” of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). The USADA repot centered on Lance Armstrong and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Danish rider Michael Rasmussen in his autobiography, “Yellow Fever,” had remarked that he taught Canadians Ryder Hesjedal, Michael Barry, Seamus McGrath, and Chris Sheppard on how to use Erythropoietin (EPO). While Michael Barry admitted to using PEDs during his time on the USPS team the other two cyclists later admitted to using performance enhancing drugs on another instances.

Sheppard received a two-year suspension in 2005 after recombinant erythropoietin (rEPO) was found in his system. The cyclist was subjected to an out-of-competition urine test at his home in Kamloops on May 29, 2005. In 2013, Canadian mountain biker and Olympian Seamus McGrath admitted to doping. The cyclist had won silver in cross country at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and received bronze at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.

McGrath was placed ninth in the cross country event at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. Hesjedal, winner of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, admitted to doping after accusations by Rasmussen. His team Garmin-Sharp said Hesjedal had testified to the US Anti-Doping Agency and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) much before the story of Rasmussen came out. Barry confessed to doping after he was named in the USADA report in the Lance Armstrong doping scandal. The cyclist said that he realized doping had become an endemic problem in professional cycling not long after he joined the US Postal Service team in 2002. Barry claimed he stopped doping in 2006 after he joined the T-Mobile team. Michael Barry admitted to using Erythropoietin (EPO), Human growth hormone (hGH) and Testosterone and accepted a six-month ban beginning September 10, 2012.

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Thursday 14, Nov 2013

  Canadian Cyclist Admits Doping

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Canadian cyclist admits doping

Canada’s top cycling star, Ryder Hesjedal, has admitted to mistakes after he was accused of using banned drugs by former Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen. It was claimed by Rasmussen in his new book Yellow Fever that he taught Hesjedal how to take EPO.

According to the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Hesjedal would not face any penalties because the offence occurred outside the limitation period. It however remarked that is disappointed that Hesjedal waited more than a decade to publicly disclose his past involvement in doping and added his conduct has deprived many clean Canadian athletes from the opportunity to shine in the sport of cycling.

Rasmussen, in his newly released autobiography, disclosed that he taught Hesjedal and two other Canadian mountain bikers, Seamus McGrath and Chris Sheppard, how to use erythropoietin when they stayed at his house for two weeks in August of 2003. The Danish cyclist claims that all achieved great results after they left his place.

A champion rider who switched from mountain bike racing to road racing after the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Hesjedal finished second at the 2003 world mountain biking championships. He was on the verge of winning gold at the 2004 Olympics in Athens had he not suffered a punctured tire in the mountain biking category, claims Rasmussen. Hesjedal won the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and won the Lionel Conacher Award as The Canadian Press male athlete of the year for the achievement.

The 32-year-old Victoria native Hesjedal said he accepts responsibility for those mistakes and remarked he will always be sorry. He went on to add that he was open and honest about his past when contacted by anti-doping authorities more than a year ago. Hesjedal’s management team said the cyclist would not speak to the media as an investigation is ongoing.

After his public admission, the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES) and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) confirmed that they interviewed the cyclist earlier this year as part of an investigation into doping in Canadian cycling.

Hesjedal won’t be punished as the World Anti-Doping Code has an eight-year statute of limitations, the CCES said. It added that the Center does not disclose information as it gathers intelligence about what is going on in the sport community. According to a statement by USADA, Travis Tygart, CEO of the USADA, said that in the past discipline and sanctions have been announced where there is actionable evidence of doping within the statute of limitations. Tygart added athletes like him and others, who have voluntarily come in, taken accountability for their actions and have been fully truthful, are essential to securing a brighter future for the sport of cycling.

Jonathan Vaughters, a former professional racing cyclist and general manager and CEO of Slipstream Sports, said Ryder was completely open and honest and transparent with USADA and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, so we’ve known about this for a while. Vaughters added he is satisfied that the Canada’s top cycling star is clean and has been clean for years.

The national body that organizes and promotes cycling in Canada, Cycling Canada, issued a statement that it was shocked and saddened to learn that Ryder Hesjedal was involved in doping over a decade ago.

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Monday 24, Dec 2012

  Cycling World Number One Has No Regrets Staying With Katusha

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Cycling World Number One Has No Regrets Staying With Katusha

Despite the Russian team facing exclusion from the WorldTour, cycling world number one Joaquim Rodriguez has no regrets about signing a new deal with Katusha in the off-season.

The world governing body of cycling (UCI) has rejected the application of the team to compete next year in the World Tour because of Katusha’s doping record over the past four years. The team, which finished second in the World Tour standings this year, has appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Rodriguez said after Katusha’s official presentation in the Italian city of Brescia said it is true that he had a chance to go to another team after this season was finished but said he would not deny that he wanted to renegotiate the contract to get a bigger one after enjoying a good season in 2012. The Spaniard, nicknamed ‘Purito’, had an excellent season in 2012 where he won twos stages in the Giro d’Italia, finishing second overall to Canadian Ryder Hesjedal. The stocky Spaniard also finished third overall in the Spanish Vuelta in September before winning the final major classic race – Tour of Lombardy – to claim the top position in the World Tour standings ahead of Britain’s Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins.

Rodriguez said many teams wanted him after such a good season and he had many offers but he decided to stay with Katusha after he got a very good deal from it. The 33-year-old when asked if he regretted his decision and if he changed his mind knowing that Katusha would be kicked out of the top flight remarked that he has given his word to the team and will stick to it to fulfil his commitments and further added that he will get a chance of riding both the Giro and Vuelta again next year as Katusha is appealing the UCI decision.

The UCI cited “ethical reasons” behind its dramatic decision to deny Katusha a place in the 18-team WorldTour league for 2013 and outlined several ethical question marks surrounding the Russia-backed team in its “reasoned decision,” which it forwarded to the team. The cycling body catalogued a string of doping problems within the team dating back to the EPO positives of Toni Colom and Christian Pfannberger in the 2009 season, as well as the EPO positive of Russian sprinter Denis Galimzyanov besides pointing to the doping positive of Alexander Kolobnev during the 2011 Tour de France, which was later absolved by the Russian cycling federation. The UCI went on to refer the alleged selling of the 2010 Liège-Bastogne-Liège by Kolobnev to ex-pro Alexander Vinokourov for 150,000 euros besides citing the removal of German team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who was replaced with Russian ex-pro Viatcheslav Ekimov, a longtime teammate of Lance Armstrong.

Katusha reaffirmed its intention to battle the UCI snub in a challenge to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and said the team said it would battle in “civilized ways.” If the team should win the CAS appeal, the license commission would restart the review process for all seven teams [Ag2r La Mondiale, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Garmin-Sharp, Blanco (former Rabobank), Argos-Shimano, and Saxo-Tinkoff besides Katusha] that applied for extension for 2013, according to UCI rules (Art. 2.15.026 and 2.15.241).

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