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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 7, 2010

Date published:
October 07, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • McQuaid responds to Torri’s doping accusations

    UCI president Pat McQuaid has been nominated for membership to the International Olympic Committee.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 18:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    UCI President dismayed at Italian investigators comments

    UCI President Pat McQuaid has responded to the comments made by Italian anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri that doping is still widespread in cycling despite a string of high-profile doping cases and the introduction of the UCI’s Biological Passport programme.

    In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Torri said: “The longer I’m involved in this, the more I marvel at how widespread doping is. And I don’t think it will be eradicated. Because it just evolves continuously. There are new substances coming out that can’t be tested for.”

    In a statement issued to Italian media in Italian, McQuaid said Torri’s comments caused profound disappointment and dismay. But said they would not deter the UCI from fighting doping in the sport.

    "At a time when cycling is paying a very high price for its determined and constant commitment in the fight against doping, the allegations by the CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) prosecutor Ettore Torri can only spark a reaction of profound disappointment and dismay in all of those who practice and who love this sport,” the statement reads.

    McQuaid claimed the UCI has taken a lead in the fight against doping.

    “The effectiveness of the action taken by the UCI to combat this real problem – which is common to all sports - has been repeatedly recognised by the most important institutions in sport, including the International Olympic Committee and World Anti-Doping Agency, who we co-operate with very closely.”

    “If the complex anti-doping system in the world of sport today has reached its current levels of efficiency and reliability, it is thanks to the work done in cycling, which was the first sport to introduce a test for EPO and then the biological passport.”

    The UCI President also said Torri’s accusations lacked objectivity and refuted the work of the current anti-doping measures...

  • Brammeier joins HTC, Pujol moves to Omega Pharma

    Oscar Pujol of the Cervelo TestTeam
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 22:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Columbia ends partnership with Stapleton's team

    Most teams have made their major signings for 2011 but the process of completing their rosters is still underway, as the UCI transfer window deadline of October 20 approaches.

    HTC has today announced the signing of current Irish national champion Matt Brammeier. The 25-year-old was born in Liverpool but opted to take up Irish nationality in 2009. He was run over by a truck and fractured both his legs two years ago, but has made a successful recovery. He rode for the An Post-Sean Kelly team this year and was in the early breakaway that gained 20 minutes on the peloton at the recent world championships.

    "I am thrilled to be joining HTC-Columbia in 2011," Brammeier said in a team statement from HTC.

    "It's the best team in the world and it's a huge honour that they have put their faith in my abilities as a rider. I like to work hard and ride hard, and I'm excited that I will be able to improve and learn from the very best. It's been a long and tough road back from the injuries that almost ended my career two years ago but it's all been worthwhile. It's a dream come true to be given such a fabulous opportunity with HTC-Columbia."

    The team, however, will be known as HTC-Highroad next season, as clothing maker Columbia has declined to renew its sponsorship contract, which ends at the end of this year.

    "These were the terms of the sponsorship that were originally agreed to in 2008," Columbia's European representative Regina Cirmon said." As the 2010 professional cycling season comes to a close, we congratulate Team HTC-Columbia for their success and thank them for their support of Columbia Sportswear over the past three years."

    David de la Fuente joins Geox

    Yesterday Geox-TMC announced the signing of David de la Fuente from Astana for 2011. The team has also confirmed that Giampaolo Cheula will continue with Mauro Gianetti’s team after riding for Footon-Servetto in 2010.

    De la...

  • Vaughters calls test for blood transfusion good news

    Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 22:27 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Says Contador positive overshadows progress in war on doping

    Could the discovery of a test for blood transfusions be the saving grace for cycling in the war against doping? Jonathan Vaughters, the manager of Garmin-Transitions certainly believes so. However the anti-doping advocate told Cyclingnews that despite a possible scientific breakthrough, the headlines surrounding Alberto Condator’s recent positive for Clenbuterol and recent revelation about plasticizers have overshadowed the positive progress against the war on doping.

    “Transfusions were the last effective stronghold for cheating within cycling,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    “There are a millions of little things that people can experiment with but I think blood transfusions were the only truly effective means that could change human performance or the results of a race that were difficult to find by the passport,” he said referring to the UCI’s biological passport.

    “The test is being overlooked and I don’t understand why that is. If it’s true that a test for autologous blood transfusions, has taken place, well for me that’s the best news I’ve heard in anti-doping in a long time. It’s incredibly good news.”

    Vaughters runs one of the most successful teams in the sport, but the foundations of his squad were primarily based on their ethical stance on doping. He studies every rider’s blood passport data before signing them, well aware that his rhetoric on doping put him and his riders further under the microscope than most.

    “As far as someone who has to manage athletes and their expectations and goals, knowing that there’s a transfusion test out there is great news to all of my athletes.

    “From someone who stands behind the curtain in professional cycling and knows the behind-the-scenes, that’s great news. I really don’t think that you’ll find many riders out there that...

  • O'Bee handed lifetime ban after EPO positive

    Kirk O'Bee in the US Crit Champ jersey
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 23:57 BST
    Cycling News

    USADA nullifies results back to 2005

    Former US Criterium champion Kirk O'Bee has been handed a lifetime ban from competition by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA), it was announced today.

    O'Bee, who tested positive in 2001 for testosterone at the US Pro road championships in Philadelphia and served a one-year ban, was given the lifetime ban after a May 20, 2009 out-of-competition sample came up positive for the banned blood booster EPO. He was fired from the Bissell team in August of 2009 for "unspecified contract violations".

    USADA pursued the disqualification of O'Bee's results from as early as July 15, 2003, citing evidence of a "non-analytical positive", or evidence of doping in the absence of a positive doping control. Those results include his 2007 US Pro criterium championship victory won while riding for the Health Net team.

    According to the decision, O'Bee did not contest the positive test, but objected to the introduction of charges of a non-analytical positive on procedural grounds and denied having used EPO prior to 2009. O'Bee denies having e-mail communications "discussing the purchase or usage of rhEPO or human growth hormone [hGH]" with Ellis Toussier, the self-professed "King of Growth Hormone" who sells the product from Mexico City.

    The decision states that O'Bee claimed that his estranged, then live-in partner Suzanne Johnson had access to the computer and said she sent the messages without his permission.

    The panel did not accept his argument, stating, "The forensically retrieved email correspondence between Mr. O'Bee and others along with documents copied from the hard drive of the desktop computer jointly owned and used by Mr. O'Bee and Ms. Johnson is sufficiently authentic and reliable evidence of Mr. O'Bee's doping violations."

    They used correspondences between O'Bee and Toussier, Team Life Research, cyclists Kirk Ditterich and Nathan O'Neill as evidence of a non-analytical positive. The panel...

  • SpiderTech and Team Type 1 sure of UCI license upgrade

    SpiderTech rolls on the front of the peloton.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 0:54 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    North American teams' applications for Pro Continental ranks delayed

    Delayed paperwork is to blame for US-based Team Type 1 and Canada-based SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy’s absence on the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) list Professional Continental teams in 2011.

    Each team’s respective manager assures that the necessary documents have been completed and both teams will appear on the official list at the end of the month.

    The UCI outlined six deadlines for teams interested in applying for a ProTour and Professional Continental licenses. For the final deadline, all documents including the original bank guarantee, sponsor contracts, rider and staff contracts and budget compensation was due on October 1.

    However, the UCI recently extended the original deadline by one month giving teams which ran into complications or delays with their application process time to submit the proper documentation to the UCI by November 1.

    Three of North America’s domestic Continental teams expressed an interest in upgrading to the Professional Continental ranks, however only one, UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis, appeared on the list published by the sport's governing body on Tuesday.

    SpiderTech manager Steve Bauer stated that his team was missing one document needed to secure a timely slot on the Professional Continental ranks. However, the document in question has been submitted to the UCI and has completed its application.

    "We will be registered Division 2," Bauer told Cyclingnews. "We were missing one important document for October 1. This document has now been sent to the UCI auditor and therefore our file will now be in order. There is no reason for an extension, our file will be in place and the team will be registered on November 1 when the UCI makes the official registration announcement."

    Manager Phil Southerland attributed Team Type 1’s absence from the UCI's list to the delay of a bank guarantee, and it was reported that the team’s current...

  • Renshaw tastes a different type of speed in Bathurst

    Mark Renshaw got to take a closer look at James Courtney's Ford Falcon V8 Supercar.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 6:25 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Sprinter saddles up with V8 Supercar driver

    Mark Renshaw is no stranger to speed as the lead out man to HTC-Columbia’s star sprinter Mark Cavendish, but today he got to experience a different type of speed when he took two hot laps around the famed Mount Panorama motor racing circuit in Bathurst, Australia. Renshaw was a guest of Dick Johnson Racing ahead of this weekend’s Bathurst 1000, and took a flying lap of the circuit as a passenger in a supercharged Ford Performance Vehicle (FPV) Ford Falcon GT piloted by DJR driver James Courtney.

    “That was two seriously fast laps around the Mountain with James Courtney in the new supercharged FPV. Quick!” Renshaw said on Twitter.

    Having grown up in Bathurst Renshaw is familiar with the legendary circuit, which he has ridden on more than one occasion. The public roads that make up Mount Panorama were closed to traffic for much of Wednesday as preparation for this weekend’s race.

    Renshaw also received a tour around DJR’s pit facilities; including a close inspection of the Ford Falcon V8 Supercar Courtney will contest the weekend’s race in alongside Warren Luff.

    Renshaw announced his withdrawal from the Commonwealth Games squad at the weekend, effectively bringing his season to a close. Newly crowned Under 23 world champion Michael Matthews will take Renshaw’s spot in the squad after Renshaw withdrew over fears of contracting dengue fever. The start of Renshaw’s 2010 season was delayed as the rider recovered from a bout of Epstein-Barr Virus, which has led to Renshaw’s cautious approach to the Delhi, India event.

    Courtney, a former Jaguar Formula One test driver, has cycled for many years as a part of his fitness training program. Courtney is just one of many cycling enthusiasts in the V8 Supercar field. Walkinshaw Racing’s drivers and many of the crew members are frequently spotted out riding around Melbourne for both training and pleasure.

  • Plasticizer test supported by authorities

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 10:22 BST
    Cycling News

    WADA may use evidence in front of CAS if necessary

    The evidence gathered by anti-doping authorities against Alberto Contador is gathering more and more support. The test for excess levels of plasticizer di-(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate (DEHP), developed by the Spaniard Dr. Jordi Segura, the head of the IOC-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, has not yet been fully validated by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) but may soon become instrumental to doping detection methods.

    WADA general director David Howman has supported the test, telling AP that the detection method was "fully validated" in the food industry already, where it has been used for years. While its use for anti-doping purposes remains only "partially validated", Howman explained that "evidence from it, among others, can be used before tribunals."

    WADA may thus be able to take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, and use the plasticizer test results on a legal level. The Spanish cycling federation has yet to determine a sanction against Alberto Contador for testing positive for Clenbuterol, for which there is no minimum threshold.

    "There is no such thing as a limit where you don't have to prosecute cases. This is not a substance that has a threshold," Howman added with regard to the Clenbuterol found in Contador's urine. "Once the lab records an adverse finding, it's an adverse finding and it has to be followed up."

  • Landis vows to repay Floyd Fairness Fund donors

    Floyd Landis at the New Pathways for Pro Cycling conference in Australia
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 10:25 BST
    Barry Ryan

    American to begin process on personal website

    Floyd Landis has vowed to repay contributors to the Floyd Fairness Fund, a trust established to finance the American’s appeal against his positive test for testosterone at the 2006 Tour de France. It is estimated that approximately $1 million was collected between late 2006 and late 2007, and went towards the legal costs of Landis’ case.

    "What I want to make clear is that I can't at the moment set a timeframe for when I can start paying people back, but I'll be glad to take the claims so that I have them," Landis told "I don't want to wait until I can pay it. I'd like to have it set up, because it's going to take time to sift through the whole thing anyway."

    In May, Landis confessed to doping during his career and alleged that a systematic doping programme was in place at the US Postal Service team. He parted ways with his Bahati Foundation team soon afterwards, and the American is currently unemployed and without the means to pay back his donors immediately.

    Contributions to the Floyd Fairness Fund came from a variety of sources and some individual donors paid thousands of dollars into the account, which was opened in Landis’ name at Washington Mutual Bank, which did not survive the global banking crisis. The rider did not have authorisation to make withdrawals from the account, however, as all transactions had to be signed off by Landis’ press officer Michael Henson.

    Landis plans to draw up a form that will be posted on the currently inactive website, allowing contributors to provide documentation detailing their donation. It is understood that he will reimburse smaller donors first.

    "Probably some people are going to get $100 here and there that they didn't give, but whatever, we can figure that out," Landis said. "I know what the total is. I'm not that concerned about that."

    Landis currently lives alone in Idyllwild, California. As well as feeling a...