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Thursday 25, Jun 2015

  Former Tour De France Winner Escapes Ban

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Former Tour de France winner and Team CSC manager Bjarne Riis has managed to escape a ban even though it was revealed by a report by Denmark’s anti-doping agency (ADD) that he decided to ignore use of banned performance enhancing drugs by riders on the former Team CSC.

A statue of limitations for doping cases applies and no disciplinary charges can be brought as many of the revelations contained in the report are dating back more than 10 years. It was suggested by the Anti-Doping Denmark report that there would be grounds without a statute of limitations to bring doping cases forward against a number of Danish riders who have admitted either their own doping violations or where the interviews have given the investigation group knowledge about their alleged offences.

According to the 97-page report published on Tuesday, senior Team CSC members Johnny Weltz (now a directeur sportif at Cannondale-Garmin) and Alex Pedersen (former Riis Cycling Managing Director) were also aware of the doping practices.

This report was based on interviews with 50 present and former riders, aides, and officials, including the Danish rider Michael Rasmussen. In 2013, Rasmussen admitted he doped for more than a decade. The cyclist was leading the 2007 Tour de France when he was sacked by his team for lying about his whereabouts after he missed pre-race doping tests. Rasmussen, who was interviewed for two days in 2013, said he experienced a widespread use of banned cortisone on Team CSC with the acceptance of team doctors and its leaders. The former cyclist also remarked his teammate Tyler Hamilton also received cortisone.

It was revealed by the report that Bjarne Riis provided Tyler Hamilton with the number of the disgraced Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes. It was revealed that Riis told Hamilton that Fuentes is the best in the business and he is the doctor to go to for blood doping. Fuentes was not interviewed by Anti-Doping Denmark. It was also revealed in the ADD report that Riis admitted to being aware that Tyler Hamilton was working for blood doping with Dr. Fuentes and he did not act to stop it. Riis also confessed to blood doping during his own illustrious career and said he had personal knowledge about blood doping practices.

In 2007, Riis admitted he made use of Erythropoietin (EPO), the banned blood booster, to win the Tour de France in 1996. Riis later managed CSC that later became Team Tinkoff-Saxo.

The ADD report was inspired by a US Anti-Doping Agency investigation that saw Lance Armstrong getting stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from professional cycling for doping offences. The report by Anti-Doping Denmark also included an allegation by Danish rider Bo Hamburger that Bjarne Riis asked him to acquire EPO in 2000 for German Team Telekom rider Jorg Jaksche. This allegation was confirmed by Jaksche to the ADD investigators but it was denied by Riis who said though he did coach the two cyclists, he was not aware that either of them was doping.

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Monday 09, Mar 2015

  Team’s Anti-Doping Measures Defended By Astana Doctor

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Team’s Anti-Doping Measures Defended By Astana Doctor

Team Astana doctor Joost de Maeseneer has defended anti-doping policies of the team and claimed that Vincenzo Nibali was tested four times in a day when he wore Tour de France leader’s jersey last year.

In an article published on the Kazakh team’s website, de Maeseneer said involvement of the team in the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC) means that they have to adhere to strict anti-doping measures. The doctor said we are members of the MPCC to check cortisol levels, we follow the no-needle policy, there are no outside supplements allowed, no outside trainers, we don’t use sprays – we think this is a good idea. De Maeseneer added we joined the MPCC in 2013 – not all the teams in the WorldTour are members of the MPCC and said that we think this should not be the case  He went on to remark that it adds to the overall number of blood tests we do in a year and said he would say the top riders are tested approximately no less than 50 times per year and also remarked that Vincenzo Nibali was once tested four times in 24 hours at the Tour.

The words of De Maeseneer came after the UCI, the world governing body of cycling, asked its License Commission to withdraw the WorldTour license of Team Astana after anomalies were thrown up during an independent audit in the team’s procedures. This recommendation was made by the UCI after it received audit on the Astana team’s practices from the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne. In a statement, the UCI revealed the audit revealed a big difference between the policies and structures that the team presented to the License Commission in December and the reality on the ground. The decision taken by the cycling’s governing body is not solely based on the audit as the UCI also reflected on evidence offered by Italian authorities in the context of Padova files that features a number of Astana riders.

The UCI statement also said the Italian authorities have provided the UCI with the sections of the Padova investigation which it has been authorized to share. It was also mentioned that as some evidence concerns Astana Pro Team members, the file has been passed to the License Commission as part of this referral and added the UCI for the sake of due process is not in a position to comment further on the content of the audit report, nor the Padova investigation, until the License Commission has assessed the situation and rendered its decision. But this decision to refer the matter to the License Commission was reached taking all circumstances and potential consequences into consideration.

Like Team Astana, De Maeseneer is not new to controversies. In his tell-all book The Secret Race, Tyler Hamilton said De Maeseneer gave illegal prescriptions to riders at team CSC. Jorg Jaksche said in a 2007 interview that he and his teammates took cortisone “all season long” in his 2004 year with team CSC. The doctor then replied that the team only worked with “ethical, professional way” and did not use prohibited substances. De Maeseneer indicated that the doping cases of Team Astana last year were not part of an organized system and were isolated events and remarked that the team has everything in place for riders who want to succeed without doping.

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Friday 27, Feb 2015

  Cookson Promises Transparency Over Doping Report

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UCI President Brian Cookson has promised that the Cycling Independent Reform Commission will be transparent with its report on doping within the sport.

Speaking at the world tracking cycling championships in Paris, Cookson remarked he thinks there will be many uncomfortable readings in the report and we all should be ready for them. The Briton remarked the UCI will not engage itself in FIFA-style wrangling over publication of the CIRC report into allegations that the UCI was a party to wrongdoings. In the past, Lance Armstrong has accused the UCI and its earlier presidents, Hein Verbruggen and Pat McQuaid, of covering up positive doping tests.

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced on January 8th 2014 about the creation of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC). The independent body is expected to put its findings about doping practices within the sport to ensure that the sport is operated smoothly and without any allegations.

The independent commission was established after Lance Armstrong, one of the most decorated cyclists of all time, was banned for life and stripped of his seven consecutive Tour de France titles that he won from 1998 to 2005. The USADA report was based on testimonies from many former teammates of Armstrong, including George Hincapie and Tyler Hamilton. It concluded that the cyclist engaged in “the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen.” The former American professional road racing cyclist later admitted in January 2013 that he made use of banned drugs and methods like Testosterone, EPO, blood transfusions, and cortisone to stay ahead of peers.

The Cycling Independent Reform Commission was trusted with the task of investigating whether the world governing body of cycling was complicit in wrongdoing. The CIRC is expected to report its findings to the cycling’s governing body by end of this month and the UCI will then publish the document in full, according to Brian Cookson.

In May last year, Lance Armstrong met with the CIRC in a meeting that lasted for seven hours. It is believed that Armstrong has been critical of the first 18 months of presidency of Cookson, who took over reins of the cycling’s body from Pat McQuaid in September 2013. Brian Cookson remarked that he is not worried about what Armstrong might or might not say about him as he is entitled to his opinion. The UCI chief added Armstrong always has an agenda.

Armstrong’s attorney Elliot Peters revealed that the meeting between his client and the CIRC was a very good meeting. Peters also revealed at that time that if you made a list of all the questions people would want to ask about Lance and his activities in cycling and everything else, those were the questions that were asked and answered. Peters also remarked that the life ban imposed on Lance Armstrong is unfairly harsh and should be reduced. The attorney also said his client is talking in the spirit of not trying to benefit by getting somebody else in trouble, but in the spirit of let us tell the truth.

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Monday 14, Jul 2014

  Lance Armstrong Grilled Under Oath

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Lance Armstrong was recently forced to provide sworn videotaped testimony about his doping history. The deposition day for the disgraced former cyclist came as part of a fraud case filed against him by SCA Promotions, a sports insurance company in Dallas.

Armstrong made a request to the Texas appeals court and the Texas Supreme Court for stopping the deposition from happening but his request was rejected by both courts. This forced the ex-cyclist to provide answers to questions raised by SCA Promotions attorney Jeffrey Tillotson, who is the sole opposing attorney to interview Lance Armstrong under oath about doping. Tillotson also questioned the cyclist under oath when he denied doping and lied about using banned performance enhancing drugs in 2005-06.

SCA Promotions has filed the lawsuit against Lance Armstrong and is seeking the return of $12 million in costs and bonuses it paid him for winning the Tour de France in 2002-04. This case was thereafter moved to arbitration and a panel is expected to hear the case after some weeks. Lance Armstrong was subpoenaed for the deposition as part of the process for gathering evidence before the hearing.

The cyclist is also facing a separate fraud lawsuit filed by the federal government. In this case, prosecutors are seeking more than $96 million from Lance Armstrong and Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis, who accused Armstrong of doping and encouraging doping within the USPS team, and may get a share any award under the U.S. whistleblower law. The cyclist was expected to testify under oath at a June 23 deposition in Austin but the judge in this whistleblower suit accusing Lance Armstrong put on hold a deposition of the former cyclist. Originally brought by former teammate Floyd Landis in June 2010, this lawsuit was joined in part by the Justice Department in February 2013. Singer Sheryl Crow, the former girlfriend of Armstrong, is listed as a government witness besides Armstrong’s ex-wife, Kristin Armstrong. Cyclists Frankie Andreu, George Hincapie, Tyler Hamilton, and Floyd Landis may be part of a list of potential witnesses against Armstrong. The case is U.S. v. Tailwind Sports Corp., 10-cv-00976, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

The 42-year-old former cyclist, who won a record seven consecutive Tour de France titles, was banned for life and stripped of his Tour de France victories after the United States Anti-Doping Agency found Armstrong guilty of using banned drugs. Armstrong later confessed to doping in January last year during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.

Armstrong sued SCA Promotions in 2004 by claiming a breach of contract after the sports insurance company refused to pay his bonus for winning the Tour de France. SCA Promotions withheld the payment and claimed Lance Armstrong cheated to win the race. In a testimony in 2005, the ex-cyclist said he “never” used performance enhancing drugs and race the bike straight up fair and square. With help of the false testimony, Armstrong was able to win a $7.5 million settlement from the company in 2006. Terms of the settlement agreement stipulated that this case could not be reopened.

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Saturday 28, Dec 2013

  Michael Rogers Suspended For Doping

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Cycling veteran Michael Rogers of Australia has been provisionally suspended by the world’s governing body of cycling. The three-time world time trial champion and 2004 Olympic bronze medalist tested positive for Clenbuterol, a drug used to treat asthma and used by athletes to cut body fat.

The 33-year-old has however claimed that the positive urine sample during his victory at the Japan Cup Road Race on October 20 may have been caused by contaminated food. The Saxo-Tinkoff rider denies deliberate doping but the UCI said the provisional suspension of Rogers would remain in force until a hearing convened by Cycling Australia identifies whether or not Rogers has committed an anti-doping rule violation. The cyclist competed in China a week before his positive drugs test. This was despite the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency issuing a warning in the past to exercise a high sense of care and caution in China because of the use of illicit use of the growth promoter in livestock there.

In a statement, Saxo-Tinkoff said Michael Rogers immediately informed the team management about the notification from the UCI and the Australian explained to the team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding origins (came) from a contaminated food source. It added that Rogers participated in the Tour of Beijing the week before the Japan Cup and traveled directly from China to Japan.

Rogers won three consecutive World Time Trial Championships between 2003 and 2005 and was upgraded to bronze in the time trial at the 2004 Atlanta Olympics after Tyler Hamilton was disqualified. The cyclist has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample. A veteran of nine Tour de France campaigns, Rogers left Team Sky where he rode in support of 2012 Tour winner Bradley Wiggins. He left Team Sky after he was named in evidence in the Lance Armstrong case as working with Michele Ferrari, the favored doctor of Armstrong.

Meanwhile, Interim Cycling Australia chief executive Adrian Anderson has remarked Rogers should face maximum ban if found guilty. He remarked Cycling Australia would support the maximum sanctions under the World Anti-Doping Agency code if the veteran cyclist is found guilty of doping and added that the fact that the drug testing process continues to uncover positive tests should be a lesson to all cyclists that if they chose to dope they can expect to be caught. In a statement, Cycling Australia said Michael Rogers does not hold an Australian racing licence and sanctions against him would not be determined by Cycling Australia if charges against Rogers are proven right. Anderson added that Cycling Australia would support the World Anti-Doping Agency, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority, and the applicable national federation in whatever action they deem appropriate.

The world’s governing body of cycling also announced that Belgian rider Jonathan Breyne has also been suspended for a positive test for Clenbuterol at the Tour of Taihu Lake in China on November 5.

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Monday 16, Dec 2013

  USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

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USADA Chief Slams Door Shut On Armstrong

Travis Tygart, the CEO of United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), has remarked that he has now closed any door of chance for Lance Armstrong cooperating with the agency and getting his life ban reduced.

Tygart, speaking at a seminar at the Ulleval Stadium in the capital of Norway, said Armstrong told him prior to Thanksgiving that he was not interested in speaking to the United States Anti-Doping Agency. The USADA chief went on to add that the banned cyclist could have done good to image of cycling if he had come all clean when he was first charged by the anti-doping agency.

Armstrong was in discussion with USADA about speaking under oath and remarked that he would be open to speak before UCI’s independent commission but does not want the United States Anti-Doping Agency to get involved.

Former US Postal Service rider, Steffen Kjærgaard, may be called as one of the witnesses called for testifying against former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel. Kjærgaard admitted to doping and was a teammate of Lance Armstrong on the 2000 and 2001 editions of the Tour de France. He also spoke at the seminar at the Ulleval Stadium.

In January this year, Lance Armstrong made an appearance on the Oprah Winfrey talk show and admitted to doping. The cyclist however refrained from admitting that he used performance enhancing drugs after his return to the sport in 2009, as claimed by USADA in its reasoned decision.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency disclosed that the USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for pressuring and grooming athletes to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection while ensuring secrecy of superior doping practices to gain an unfair competitive advantage. USADA’s reasoned decision was supported by different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence and testimonies from Armstrong’s former teammates: Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie.

Armstrong also denied before Oprah that the world governing body of cycling, the UCI, and its then President Hein Verbruggen, had helped him cover up his doping. He however claimed last month that Verbruggen had been complicit in a bogus and the backdated prescription for a saddle sore cream for covering up a positive test for a corticosteroid in the 1999 Tour de France.

Meanwhile, wife of Frankie Andreu has questioned the motives of Armstrong for his apparent contrition. Betsy Andreu remarked the disgraced cyclist is still trying to manipulate the situation to his advantage and was acting out of self-interest. She added nothing has changed with Lance and he is still desperately trying to control the narrative but the problem for him is not many are listening. Betsy also noted that Lance has a history of reaching out to people before key legal dates and said she believes that Armstrong’s episodes of reaching out to the likes of ex-pro cyclists Christophe Bassons and Filippo Simeoni are influenced by a court appointment in the whistleblower case and the arbitration hearing of Bruyneel.

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Thursday 17, Oct 2013

  Cultural Shift In Cycling Hailed By Tygart

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Cultural Shift In Cycling Hailed By Tygart

USADA chief Travis Tygart has remarked he is happy with the cultural shift in cycling in the wake of the fall of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong from grace.

Tygart remarked there is still more to do but we are now getting awfully close to dismantling the system that allowed this to happen and added that clean athletes have more chance in cycling to be successful than they ever have. The USADA chief went on to say that ultimately it’s the riders’ culture and they have to embrace it to keep it clean and there will always be a few who try to gain an unfair advantage, but right now, the majority have an opportunity to be successful, not to have to leave the sport, but to be in a position to win without having to cheat with performance enhancing drugs, that is a significant cultural shift. Travis Tygart added clean cyclists can have renewed hope that their rights will be upheld and a culture of integrity will be embraced and the fact that the president who oversaw the sport during this dirty, corrupt period is gone — and said he thinks this is a huge victory for clean athletes.

Tygart, the chief executive of the US Anti-Doping Agency, says he believes clean cyclists now have a better chance of continuing successful careers than ever before. USADA brought down one of the most successful and powerful men in the world of cycling and provided a wide range of evidence including different categories of eyewitness, documentary, first-hand, scientific, direct and circumstantial evidence. USADA accused Armstrong and the US Postal cycling team of running the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen. The US Anti-Doping Agency revealed that USPS Team doping conspiracy was designed professionally for grooming and pressurizing cyclists to make use of dangerous drugs and evade detection. It was also designed in such a way that cyclists can ensure secrecy of the conspiracy and gain an unfair competitive advantage through superior doping practices.

The United States Anti-Doping Agency was supported by many of the former teammates of Lance Armstrong (Frankie Andreu, Michael Barry, Tom Danielson, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer, Stephen Swart, Christian Vande Velde, Jonathan Vaughters and David Zabriskie). USADA gave Armstrong the opportunity to tell the entire truth but he decided to exercise his legal right not to contest the evidence, which meant that he was banned for life and his competitive results from 1998 onwards were disqualified.

The downfall of Armstrong is attributed by many as one of the biggest reasons behind the ouster of ex-UCI president Pat McQuaid who was recently defeated by Britain’s Brian Cookson in the UCI presidential elections. It was alleged in cycling circles that McQuaid and his predecessor defended the doping practices of Lance Armstrong by hiding his positive test results and they were even accused of taking cash from the cyclist to cover up the tests, an allegation which is denied by both former UCI presidents.

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Tuesday 17, Sep 2013

  Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

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Armstrong Gives Back Olympic Bronze Medal

Former American professional cyclist @Lance Armstrong has tweeted that he had given back the bronze medal he won at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Mark Higgins, who has been a manager and spokesman for Armstrong for several years, handed over the medal to USOC chief executive officer Scott Blackmun at the Dallas-Fort Worth airport and Lance Armstrong declined further comment.

Meanwhile, the International Olympic Committee has remarked that it will not reallocate the bronze medal of Armstrong. The IOC follows the same way in which the governing body of cycling decided not to declare any winners for the Tour titles once held by Lance Armstrong. This means Spanish rider Abraham Olano Manzano, who finished fourth in Sydney, will not be upgraded and the bronze medal originally awarded to Armstrong will be left vacant in Olympic records.

Armstrong’s U.S. Postal Service teammate, Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia, won the gold and Jan Ullrich of Germany won silver. Ekimov was the teammate of Lance Armstrong during the time period in which USADA outlined widespread doping on the team. Ullrich had confirmed in an interview that he used blood-doping treatments during his career. The IOC previously stripped Tyler Hamilton, a former Armstrong teammate, of his time-trial gold medal from the 2004 Olympics after he acknowledged doping.

A spokesman for the U.S. Olympic Committee confirmed the fact that Olympic bronze medal awarded to Armstrong had been returned. Patrick Sandusky said the United States Olympic Committee has received the bronze medal awarded to Lance Armstrong at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. He further remarked the International Olympic Committee and the USOC had previously requested that the medal be returned and the USOC has made arrangements to return the medal to the IOC.

Armstrong was asked to give back the medal after he confessed to using banned performance enhancing drugs throughout his career. The cyclist was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and banned for life from cycling. His doping confession came months after the United States Anti-Doping Agency detailed widespread use of performance enhancing drugs by the cyclist and his U.S. Postal Service team.

Lance Edward Armstrong had won the Tour de France a record seven consecutive times between 1999 and 2005 and is the founder of the Livestrong Foundation, originally called the Lance Armstrong Foundation. The cyclist started his career in 1992 as a professional cyclist with the Motorola team. Armstrong was diagnosed in October 1996 with testicular cancer that had spread to his brain and lungs. Lance Armstrong became a professional triathlete at the age of 16 and became national sprint-course triathlon champion in 1989 and 1990 at 18 and 19, respectively. During 1992-96, Armstrong collected the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling: the Thrift Drug Classic in Pittsburgh, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic, and the CoreStates USPRO national championship in Philadelphia. In 1996, Armstrong became the first American to win the La Flèche Wallonne and again won the Tour DuPont. The cyclist has recorded an aerobic capacity of 83.8 mL/kg/min (VO2 max), which is much higher than the average person (40–50), but less than other winners of Tour de France like Miguel Indurain and Greg LeMond (92.5).

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Thursday 22, Aug 2013

  Hamilton Praises O’Grady For Doping Confession

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Hamilton Praises O’Grady For Doping Confession

Decorated veteran @Stuart O’Grady has come in praise from doping whistleblower Tyler Hamilton who said the Australian cyclist should be congratulated for coming clean about his dirty past.

Hamilton added a truth and reconciliation commission is needed in order to clear all skeletons from the sport’s bulging closet. The ex-teammate of disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong and himself a doper, Hamilton said he believed as few as five riders who raced in his first Tour de France in 1997 were clean. He added that we need more of the answers from the past and more people to speak up and we need more people like Stuart O’Grady to come forward.

The cyclist added there are a lot of skeletons inside the closet, and we haven’t heard enough. There should be some sort of truth and reconciliation program. Hamilton went on to add that there should be a process if a cyclist has already crossed the line where they can come forward and tell the truth and there’ll be little or no penalty and added it is the only way to get the sport heading in the right direction–not just for cycling, but for all sports.

Three days after his surprise retirement following his 17th Tour de France, Stuart O’Grady became the latest Australian cyclist to admit to doping. O’Grady confessed to using the banned blood booster EPO when preparing for the 1998 Tour de France. His confession came after he was named in a French Senate inquiry as one of 83 athletes who were found later to have returned positive tests or, in O’Grady’s case, ”suspicious” blood readings from that infamous race. The retired Australian professional road bicycle racer, who last rode for UCI ProTeam Orica-GreenEDGE, became only the second Australian to wear the race leader’s famous yellow jersey in 1998. The former track cyclist who won medals at three Olympics, including gold at the 2004 Athens Games was named in a French Senate inquiry into sports doping that looked at the 1998 Tour de France. The inquiry found the top three finishers, Italian Marco Pantani, Germany’s Jan Ullrich, and American Bobby Julich, were taking Erythropoietin (EPO).

The Australian cyclist may now runs the risk of being stripped of his Olympic medals after admitting to using performance enhancing drugs at the 1998 Tour. After his doping confession, Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) spokesman remarked it is sad and O’Grady won’t be remembered as a fantastic competitor that we all thought he was and instead he’ll be remembered as an athlete who succumbed to the temptation of drugs in sport just to get an edge on his fellow riders. Tancred added in regard to his medals, it’s a matter for the international federation, so the UCI (International Cycling Union) will consider the medals and they will then make some recommendation to the IOC (International Olympic Commission). In a statement, AOC president John Coates said members of our London Olympic team are entitled to be angry knowing they had supported an athlete who had cheated. The AOC had already called on the cyclist to step down from its Athletes’ Commission, a 10-member advisory body comprised of respected athletes.

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Saturday 23, Mar 2013

  German Cyclist Casts Doubt On Fuentes Defense In Trial

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German Cyclist Casts Doubt On Fuentes Defense In Trial

The Operation Puerto blood doping trial was recently told by German cyclist Jörg Jaksche that he the treatment he received from Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes was designed to beat doping controls and had nothing to do with genuine health issues. The evidence of Jaksche on the first day of testimony from professional riders before the judge in Madrid may have a bearing on whether the Spanish court decides that the disgraced doctor who denies doping and other defendants violated public health laws.

The cyclist from Germany was the first cyclist to admit blood doping in connection with the Puerto investigation that made it to the courtroom almost after seven years after Spanish police seized anabolic steroids, transfusion equipment, and blood bags in 2006. On June 2007, the cyclist said he had used banned drugs over a period of 10 years and confirmed that he was a client of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes from 2005 and said going to see the doctor was like “going for an oil change”. The rider said Fuentes had supplied him with banned drugs including the booster erythropoietin (EPO) and performed blood transfusions. Jaksche also told the court that Fuentes had also given him an unidentified “white powder” to contaminate urine samples.

The accused doctor, along with four other defendants including his sister Yolanda, is being tried for violating health laws as the Spain’s current anti-doping legislation was not in force in 2006 when the police raids took place. The prosecutor has asked for jail sentences of two years.

Last month, Fuentes remarked he had clients in sports including soccer, tennis, athletics, and boxing and agreed to reveal his client list if the same is sought by the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Spanish anti-doping authorities. The judge Julia Santamaria said she would not prevent Fuentes from doing so but would also not oblige him to do so, and said it would infringe the rights of those implicated.

In another development, Italian rider Ivan Basso told the court he had blood extracted on three occasions at the clinic of another doctor implicated in the Operation Puerto case but never had any reinjected. Tyler Hamilton, a long-time associate of Lance Armstrong, told the court that he paid tens of thousands of dollars a year for doping to the doctor at the heart of the Operation Puerto scandal. The rider said he used blood doping about 15 times and also bought the blood booster EPO, testosterone, growth hormone and insulin from Eufemiano Fuentes. He said he paid $33,000 to $40,000 for the services in 2002 and 2003. The former rider for the U.S. Postal and CSC teams who was stripped of his gold medal from the 2004 Athens Olympics last year after confessing to doping said he had first met the Spanish doctor in Spain at a highway rest area between Barcelona and Valencia “to fix up blood transfusions” and “to plan for the future.” He named one-time Tour de France and Giro d’Italia winner “Bjarne Riis, general manager of team CSC, when asked who put him in contact with Fuentes.

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