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Thursday 16, Oct 2014

  Armstrong Admitted Doping In 2011, Says Hushovd

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Norway’s retired world champion cyclist Thor Hushovd has revealed in his autobiography “Thor” that he knew about doping of Lance Armstrong in 2011. Hushovd said Armstrong himself told him that he made use of banned products during his career.

Thor Hushovd was friends with the American cyclist for many years and appeared critical of the doping investigation against Lance Armstrong at times. Hushovd won the World Road Race Championship in 2010 and three National Road Trial Championships (2002, 2004, and 2005).  In a 15 year professional career, Hushovd also won 10 individual stages of the Tour de France throughout his career.

Hushovd revealed he was invited by Armstrong to Hollywood after the 2011 Tour of California. A few weeks back, Armstrong’s former US Postal Service teammate Tyler Hamilton had accused Armstrong of doping and Hushovd said Armstrong spontaneously admitted it to him that we all indulge in doping.

It is however surprising to note that Hushovd was critical of Floyd Landis, who tested positive during the 2006 Tour de France. Hushovd told TV 2 Sport then that Landis is certainly free to come to a world championship city, but he has no place in an anti-doping conference. The Norwegian cyclist had remarked when you have managed to lie for so many years and spent lots of money in the system, then he has lost my confidence, and probably that of many others too and had added then it is the wrong person to get to work on anti-doping issues.

Hushovd also revealed an incident of October 2012 when he received a text message from his manager Atle KvÃ¥lsvoll that Dane Steffen Kjærgaard, head of the Norwegian Cycling Federation (Norges Cycleforbund – NCF), had admitted to using banned drugs to compete. Hushovd said he admits that he had thought about it and remarked Steffen had been riding together with Lance Armstrong in a period when there was a lot of drug taking, and in addition he had been at a time when the Danish cycling environment was quite hard for a period.

Hushovd became publicly critical of Lance Armstrong when the American cyclist admitted to using banned performance enhancing drugs and techniques such as testosterone, cortisone, and blood doping during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey in January 2013.

Hushovd also claimed in his autobiography that he never doped himself and added he never made this clear to Armstrong. The Norwegian cyclist said he had nothing to hide and added he understands that it can be hard for people to believe that after such a long period in the sport that he was never offered any kind of doping. Hushovd insisted but it’s true that no one has ever come to him and asked if he would try.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission is presently investigating into the doping past of cycling and specifically into claims that the previous leadership at UCI helped Lance Armstrong evade detection for many years. Hushovd remarked Armstrong was the sport’s big superstar and the golden calf and added the UCI would have lost a lot if Armstrong was revealed as a cheater. The Norwegian cyclist said he thinks the positive samples were hidden to save Armstrong and to protect the sport.

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Friday 31, Jan 2014

  Vancouver Cyclist Suspended For Two Years

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Vancouver Cyclist Suspended Two Years

Vancouver cyclist Sebastian Salas has received a suspension of two years for tampering with doping control during in-competition testing last summer, according to an announcement by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport (CCES).

Salas tampered with a doping control during an in-competition test on July 10, 2013, at the Gastown Grand Prix, held in Vancouver, according to a release from the CCES. The cyclist is now banned from the sport through August 1, 2015. The release from the CCES reads that Salas in response to the CCES’ notification of the violation fully explored his rights under the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP) and eventually chose to admit the doping control violation, waive his right to a hearing, and accept a two-year sanction ending August 1, 2015. The statement added that Salas, who resides in Vancouver, British Columbia, is ineligible to participate in any capacity with any sport signatory to the Canadian Anti-Doping Program (CADP), including training with teammates.

In a statement, Cycling Canada president John Tolkamp said it is unfortunate to learn that an athlete in our sport has been seen to have competed outside the rules of the Canadian Anti-doping Program. He added that the fact that the rigorous testing regime of the national body with the collaboration of the CCES identified the problem should serve as a reminder to any that would cheat that they will be caught and sanctioned appropriately. Tolkamp also remarked we will continue to enhance our efforts to educate around doping in our sport so that all athletes are able to compete on a fair and equal basis.

The Optum team of Salas suspended him following the abnormal test and did not renew him for 2014. In a statement, managing director Charles Aaron said Salas due to our team policy was suspended within 24 hours of his late arrival to an in-competition control at the Gastown Grand Prix. Aaron added that removing him from all 2013 rosters and excluding him from consideration for 2014 was the strongest course of action available to our organization. He also remarked that CCES has since concluded Salas was in breach of the rules and we fully support the actions of CCES as well as USADA and WADA in their continued efforts to protect clean sport.

Salas won the king of the mountains classification at the 2012 Amgen Tour of California and the rider was placed in the top 10 at the both the Tour de Beauce and SRAM Tour of the Gila that season. He rode for Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies for the last two seasons, but did not re-sign with the team for the upcoming season. Salas is the Grouse Grind record holder after having completed the arduous North Shore hiking trail in 23 minutes and 48 seconds. He won the Grouse Grind Mountain Run for five consecutive years, from 2008 through 2012. Salas’s record will stand for now, noting it was set in 2010, well before he was sanctioned by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport, Grouse Mountain representative Jacqueline Blackwell. She added the record set in our recreational race will stand as a formal Grouse Grind Mountain Run record as we have so far not received information suggesting Mr. Salas’ violations date back to 2010 or prior but added we will certainly examine it if further evidence comes to light.

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Thursday 08, Nov 2012

  Independence A Must For Clean Sport, Says Tygart

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Independence A Must For Clean Sport, Says Tygart

 USADA CEO Travis Tygart has said that the work is not done yet even though the lifetime ban and the disqualification of the results of Lance Armstrong are now secure.

The arbitration cases for Johan Bruyneel and Jose “Pepe” Martí are still lying in pending status and there is a huge possibility that more details may emerge from the seedy tale of the doping culture in cycling. Tygart, after unearthing the disturbing truths, sees independent organizations like USADA as the only way forward for the sport.

At times when the governing body of cycling was turning a blind eye to whistle-blowers such as Jörg Jaksche, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis, the United States Anti-Doping Agency was taking them seriously and started investigating on the allegations made by the former teammates of Lance Armstrong against him. Tygart said the reason why the cycling’s governing body failed to do so sooner was because of the inherent conflict of interest or “fox guarding the henhouse” that is key to cycling’s problems.

USADA chief said if a single precedent is established by the case of the disgraced cyclist, Armstrong, it is that clean athletes have now greater faith in the anti-doping establishments and trust that these institutions will not turn a blind eye, irrespective of how powerful or influential those who broke the rules may be. He added that the UCI was arguing and telling everyone that USADA was on a witch hunt and they seem to have no idea of what the evidence was, they sued Floyd Landis and called the whistle-blowers scum bags, these surely are not the actions one takes if the sport is to be moved in the right direction on this topic.

The differences between USADA and UCI emerged in public ahead of the 2011 Tour of California when the governing body of cycling said it wants the absolute results management authority and could only allow USADA to simply perform the controls. In 2010, a similar conflict happened between the UCI and French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) before the Tour de France. Meanwhile, the management committee of the UCI has decided to form an independent commission for examining the “various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair” but the USADA chief hopes the scope will be broader than just looking into a few important issues like the 2001 Tour de Suisse doping control of Lance Armstrong that was suspicious for EPO.

Tygart added that the USADA report into the Lance Armstrong doping scandal did to some extent what the Mitchell Report did for baseball. The report by USADA not only had a look into and exposed the past, but it also helped in learning lessons that one can unshackle himself from that past besides placing tangible recommendations to ensure the sport moves in the right direction. Tygart expressed hope that USADA, their equivalents around the world, and WADA itself, have demonstrated that they could offer a reasonable avenue for clean athletes to report on doping activities and said Armstrong scandal will surely send a very powerful deterrent and preventative message to those who cheat and think that they could get away with it or grow so big they become too big to fail.

pdf_iconDownload in PDF: Independence A Must For Clean Sport, Says Tygart